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Access to Hydrotherapy pools

veritercveriterc Posts: 146Community champion Pioneering

Author Verite Reily Collins had polio when 15 and then she got cancer at 63.  Today she talks to us about hydrotherapy pools and the NHS

I was always keen on sports, especially swimming and I found this not only helpful when recovering from polio but also when treated for cancer.  Today, many hospitals have hydrotherapy pools, which were fashionable but now have fallen out of favour. Yet hydrotherapy is one of best ways of using exercise for recovery. Hippocrates was prescribing this over 2,000 years ago, and 'new' evidence is constantly produced. 

With a father in the Navy, we were living abroad when I when I contracted polio. Flown home to be treated, I ended up in Stanmore Royal National orthopaedic Hospital.  I remember the eminent professor who looked me over after admission, sitting on my bed and trying to be kind as he told me I would never walk again.

Manners went out the window - flat on my back I looked up at him and said "it you think I am staying here for the rest of my life...." Shock! Horror" - I had disparaged his beloved hospital.  His gaze settled on his most junior doctor, and handing  me over, he hastily said "Mr. James will be looking after you".


Mr. James and I got on extremely well;  Sister was surprised at a patient who dared to talk to her hero, but he and I had a good rapport.  Early on, I had persuaded him that I WAS going to walk, and he allowed me to spend hours in the hydro pool, strengthening my muscles. Gradually I got stronger, and one day, when alone, I crawled up the steps and walked - albeit very unsteadily.

This went against protocol;  then, you were expected to 'bed rest', but I persevered until I was found out. Instead of admonishing me, Mr. James made me demonstrate my wobbly walk and I was told to keep this up. eventually I walked out of Stanmore.

So when I got cancer, I expected the same 'working together' ethos, with the MDT clustered around my bed every Friday during Ward Rounds, discussing my case,with a chance to 'say my bit'.  But things have changed. MDT meetings are held well away from patients;  it seems we are incidental.  Even if we suspect our notes have been mixed up, we're unable to challenge this.  So I learnt very quickly to do research on the Internet.  There is a lot of stuff out there, and you soon get a feel for websites that offer duff information, and avoid them like the plague.

I was helped by a Consultant, who recommended me for hydrotherapy as a boost for recovery.  "How long for?"  I asked. "For the rest of your life - it's the best way for you to exercise safely."

And he was right. No fears of falling over and breaking more bones (osteoporosis is a side effect of cancer drugs,and I have fractured 14 bones since getting cancer).  As I went abroad for treatment, the icing on the cake was swimming around in Olympic-sized pools built around the hot springs that proliferate in Europe.  

 Verite Collins


Back in London, I tried out various hospital pools, from standard ones at Chelsea and Westminster and Charing Cross, through the NHS jewel Guys Hospital with its physios with a lovely sense of humour, and if I was feeling rich I could go to King Edward VII - royalty and stars such as Craig Revel Horwood go there, so you mustn't stare at fellow bathers!  The showers have Molton Brown shower gel and shampoo, but as it cost £80 a session, this was a rare treat.

Then I moved to Oxfordshire, and found hydrotherapy is a rare commodity.  The John Radcliffe has the best hydrotherapy pool I have found in England, but the downside is it takes six months for a referral. Then you are only allowed a limited amount of sessions.  Otherwise it is the Circle private hospital in Reading, which has an Aqua Treadmill - not quite a pool,but probably the most effective hydrotherapy treatment I have ever had - even better than the University of Iena's Bad Sulza rehab centre in Germany.  Although not so much fun! And it costs £55 a session, so a rare treat.

But there are hydrotherapy pools all over Britain in NHS hospitals.  Treatment in these is mixed, depending on Accountants' whims (closing hydro services is an easy option to  save money).  Often the excuse for closing is "no demand", so get out there and "demand".  I can promise you it is helpful for many conditions, from Arthritis to Stress and many other conditions. For more information, take a look at my blog After Cancers.

Have you ever used a hydrotherapy pool? Have you found they have been closed down? How difficult is it to get access to this sort of therapy? Let us know your experiences.

Replies

  • Ami2301Ami2301 Posts: 4,924Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    I would love to try hydrotherapy!
    You're a fighter. Look at everything you've overcome. Don't give up now!
  • veritercveriterc Posts: 146Community champion Pioneering
    Richard
    I sometimes feel I should transfer my medical care over to the local Vet.  No waiting times, and you are given treats!
  • Richard_ScopeRichard_Scope Posts: 1,412Administrator Scope community team
    @veriterc now there's an idea!
    Scope
    Specialist Information Officer - Cerebral Palsy
  • LDNUMBERPAINLDNUMBERPAIN Posts: 20Member Connected
    Hi veriterc, most encouraged by your post, you sound like my kind of lady right along with Norman cousin who as you probably know confounded his own terminal  prognosis and not least the resolute determination of Stephen Hawkins.

    I very much wanted to try hydrotherapy after a referal to investigate a specific type of arthritis -which was  not exactly what I went to see the GP about. While the London hospital has an excellent and well heated hydro pool and plenty of excellent physio support, it was much to well over subscribed to statistically justify its use which, in practice meant a rapid turnover of small groups of patients who were quickly processed rather than given the one to one that is essential for patients with different conditions. 
    Given the health and economic survey (2011-12) which found that nearly half of the Dr s who responded  said it was there own strategies that are the biggest obstruction to the NHS integration I think hydrotherapy is just one example of how the payment for statistical results is a deeply flawed policy.
    I went for two sessions of the 6 allowed and decided it would not really provide the treatment I needed simply because the time limited physio session ties the healing hands of the physio support so I still have the arthritis which continues to be limited by the joint respectful exercise routine I continue to explore and plan to return to swimming next year. 

  • veritercveriterc Posts: 146Community champion Pioneering
    Interesting to hear your experience.  Have you tried Guys?   Or was I just lucky there? !  Now I have moved to Oxford, saw Consultant yesterday who suggested guided injection to help relieve pain of arthritis in hip.  Have had a couple in my hands - one worked and one didn't.  So suggested to consultant that hydro might be cheaper,and works for me. I had a feeling that the injection was THE modern thing - hence the suggestion. 
    I totally agree with you re physio time   Chelsea and Westminster has a 'brilliant' new idea; physio sets you an exercise, then shoots off elsewhere to attend to another patient - sets them a task and shoots back to you.  One day they are going to collide with a bed and break a leg with these mad dashes!  But when will NHS realise doing the job properly at first saves time in the long run?
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Posts: 2,636Member Disability Gamechanger
    I would love to try hydrotherapy and I did ask about it but the physio just looked at me like I was insane. 


    I am a fibrowarrior!
  • ymeyme Posts: 4Member Listener
    I was referred to hydrotherapy sessions by GP via my pain management consultant. Could not believe the response...

    Sorry but the patient would need one to one support which we cannot do. Plus the patient cannot access the pool as cannot climb steps and this is the only way to access the pool!

    Talk about discrimination....

  • veritercveriterc Posts: 146Community champion Pioneering
    Unbelievable!   And as far as I can remember most pools  (if not ALL) have a hoist - I have used these and very efficient they are.
    Secondly, as far as I know you are entitled to six sessions with a physio - and if they can't support you who can? !!  Pool I am using at the moment frequently has quadie-plegics using it, and the look of joy on their faces when they reach the water and find they can splash around iis a sight to see.  Suggest you make a big stink by emailing your local Clinical Commissioning Group, PALS at the hospital with a pool, and definitely your MP.  You can send the same letter to all - and you could also include your local Healthwatch,etc.  It's disgusting the way you have been treated, but not suprising with the way the NHS seems to be run by pen-pushers, with no thought for patients.
    Can we all get together and DEMAND that the NHS provide this therapy? I think other charities, such as polio and arthritis, would back us.
  • veritercveriterc Posts: 146Community champion Pioneering
    Incidentally, I have just Googled Hydrotherapy, and up came a huge list of pools locally. Then I looked closer and these are all for treating animals.  It's a sad fact that animals can often get better treatment than the NHS provides for humans!
  • newbornnewborn Posts: 202Member Pioneering
    Virtually every special needs school has one.    Luckily, it's fine to leave this health resource unused for most hours of the day, all weekends, and all days of the year when schools are on holiday.  (Children only need exercise in certain sessions in school hours, don't they?.....don't they?)     

     Plus, they all, without exception, suddenly get miracle cures, or else all emigrate, the day they reach school leaving age, so there is no point allowing any exercise provision at all for anyone who is physically  incapable of 'taking a brisk daily walk' 

    Often, leisure complexes have warmer water for children's pools and for the spa pools.   But there is never any provision for people who are physically incapable of swimming at a cool temperature.   Because no such people exist, do they?...do they?  

    Of course, daily exercise is vital for the entire population........except  us 'crips' aged over school leaving age.    There are underwater balance balls and treadmills, pools with handrails at different depths, ìndividual glass boxes so people can do seated or standing exercise in pain relieving hot water, while their physios can watch and supervise.    But mostly in u.s.a.   Or, in u.k. for dogs or horses, because  there's no such thing as statutory duty, nor the equality act, is there?......is there?
  • veritercveriterc Posts: 146Community champion Pioneering
    newborn
    I so agree - if you can think of anyone/organisation to lobby for better access, let us know and I will be there.
  • newbornnewborn Posts: 202Member Pioneering
    Scope is being asked to provide the token 'consultation', it seems, for a government compliance tick box.  There is an officially started thread titled 'have you ever felt excluded'.?

    Even the most recalcitrant civil servant/political adviser can grasp the direct obvious discrimination in physical exclusion, so you might think, foolishly, that all the multitude of disability funding streams might unite to plead, humbly, that buildings are accessible, particularly newbuild.   And, of course that disabled humans in u.k. might expect equality with dogs.

    But no.  Councils grant new shopfronts planning consent, even when merely swapping the proposed  position of the entrance would make it accessible for disabled users and staff  (note the indirect employment discrimination), for  people pushing buggies, for delivery drivers (hey, who cares if they are injured for life, the only thing that counts is that our architect thought a door here, not there, looked prettier).

     And hey, who, out of all the council  staff, and all the planning committee,  should give a moment of thought to discrimination law and statutory duty?   There is one enforceable equality, it's a  crime, so people have to take notice.   Nothing else is realistically enforceable,  and it's getting steadily worse, as the old Disability Discrimination Act fades in public memory. 

     If you want to stop me using your goods, your private  services, or your purportedly Public Services, you can just go right ahead, where direct or indirect Disability (or Age) Discrimination is concerned.

    There Is N O Meaningful Enforcement, despite millions of breaches per second.

      However, you wouldn't dream of overtly banning me because of my race, because a tax funded torrent of lawyers would have you in terror of being jailed, fined, ruined, your career wrecked, your cosy gold plated pension and knighthood prospects all gone.

    So, will the Scope rep.  go into the next nice chat in Whitehall, and rip the place apart until __________Equal______  equals_____ Equal?     

    Yeah, right.........  Possibly,  but, if they ever dared act in the interests of the 'client group', they would have needed to agree to take a giant risk to their own best interests.

     At hazard is   a hefty charridee and taxpayers' funding stream, a comfortable working lifestyle,  a whole bunch of comfortable salary packages and careers, the power, the status, the knighthoods. 

    So, Scope, and the thousands of others, has conflict of interest.  "Don't rock the boat" "Don't make a fuss"  "Here, have some crumbs".   

    Plus, to still any uneasy consciences, any charity can tell itself there is some good being done.   Oxfam donations and taxpayer subsidy may pay for the staff's prostitutes and champagne in disaster zones, but it does give out blankets.  Eton, and FIFA, are charities getting donations and tax money, so they must have an  ostensible 'good deeds' list.   

    A Devil's Advocate would whisper in the ears of the charity top brass, arguing that Scope has this message board, which is certainly as useful in it's way as any Oxfam blanket.   If charity bosses risk  'speaking  truth to Power,'  maybe Power will snatch away the Scope message board, and the Oxfam blankets?
  • nicebootsniceboots Posts: 188Member Pioneering
    Hi I have used hydrotherapy pools a lot, I’m lucky that my local hospital has one and access is reasonably good through the neurophysio, although only for 6 half hour sessions (who knew it only takes 3 hours to ease cp related symptoms!) A local physio has a hydro pool that the hospital hydro pool refers to if you’re willing to pay nearly £20 for half hour, I have done that a few times, but it’s not exactly cheap! But every little helps when I’m tight and achy, especially this time of year.... 
    I do use my local leisure centre pool to do exercises in, it’s not the warmest, but as it’s included in the price of my gym membership I do my best with what’s available. A friend suggested wearing a wetsuit in the pool to keep my muscles warm, which I am open to trying!
  • veritercveriterc Posts: 146Community champion Pioneering
    Where are these pools?  In which town/city?  It would be nice if we could help Yvonne at the British Polio Fellowship who is trying to compile a list of hydro pools around Britain, both NHS and private, adequately heated ones.
  • newbornnewborn Posts: 202Member Pioneering
    Thanks for the tip re Polio Fellowship.   But, why don't these splinter group charities make common cause and push all together?   

    And, why not question the logic of precedent?     There is apparently no limit to how much hydro and physio and specialist exercise machines in specialist hospitals, or, for as long as needed, on condition you get injured, not necessarily on active service, but during time you are being employed by armed forces.   

    (You also need to be put top of the social housing list, but your identical twin won't need a home, or any exercise, if he/she gets identical injuries while employed at the supermarket . )

    You can, as another post mentioned, have your c.p. 'mended' for life,  in six sessions of exercise  !?!
    .  I.e   The 'brisk daily walk' is vital  throughout the lifetime for the entire population, but disabled people do not, or should not, live longer than six days, according to the minds of official government/local government and national health organisers. !?!

    You cannot attend a special school without having regular hydrotherapy,   even with a learning disability and a perfectly ordinary healthy body.   But, the day you leave, you need no exercise at all, however complex your physical needs. 

     To an unthinking, time serving civil servant, health boss or politician, either that makes perfect logical sense, or, more likely, they don't give it a moment of thought, because, hey, they get the power, the generous salary, the gold plated pension, and all without needing to give-a-damn about the victims of the systems they are too lazy to bother altering.

    Long ago, disabled activists did get organised, chained themselves to Westminster railings, blocked traffic in Whitehall with wheelchairs, were willing to go to jail to make their point, that they didnt accept being excluded from public transport.      I'm  guessing they would be aggressively hauled off under misuse of terrorist laws, if they tried again.



       
  • littleruthie123littleruthie123 Posts: 460Member Pioneering
    I would also love too try this treatment.its about the only thing I haven't tried .I presume we need a referral?.from doctor or does it have too be a phsio.ive seen phsio before but couldent really help me alot tbh.can anyone advise?
  • veritercveriterc Posts: 146Community champion Pioneering
    Each referral I have had has been via a GP. But you usually have to do research, as often they have no idea it exists!   You need to tell them to refer you to X hospital for hydro.
  • veritercveriterc Posts: 146Community champion Pioneering
    I suspect other charities are under-funded, and don't have time to do extra work.  I got round this by becoming a member - which is usually inexpensive - and they tend to be supportive of members.
    Many of the forces actually contribute to charities that run medical centres.  And their families benefit too.  King Edward VII is known as the best private hospital in London (Royals are treated there), and is run by services charity.  They have a lovely pool, and because my father was in Navy I got a fantastic discount.  So worth thinking about if you have military connections.
  • nicebootsniceboots Posts: 188Member Pioneering
    Hi @veriterc the hospital pool I used was at Queen Alexandra hospital in Portsmouth and the private one was at a physio in Portsmouth, but I can’t remember what they’re called.
  • veritercveriterc Posts: 146Community champion Pioneering
    Thanks - I'll let the Polio Fellowship know as they are compiling a list.  You would think the NHS should do this - but....! 
  • newbornnewborn Posts: 202Member Pioneering
    I would think a united umbrella organisation of large and small charities and interested parties could and should be working T O G E T H E R, to scream and scream for common interests.   One lobbying charity is a nuisance, and risks having funds cut and access to power cut off.     One hundred charities, united,  cannot be ignored.

    One hundred minor pro rata membership fees would allow an umbrella group to hire a staff to investigate, research, expose shortcomings  such as the lack of exercise provision.  Or lack of disabled suited housing. Or lack of respite for family carers. Or lack of access to trains and underground.

    One hundred organisations,  together,   would make a serious and immediate difference, when they make a move.   They would be taken seriously by the press, by those in power, by opinion formers.    Instead of dissipating effort and splintering the multiple funding streams within their memberships, they could be effective.

    I'm reminded of someone sadly remarking on a new charity for blind people. The organiser was proud that he had used a large fund to make tapes so blind people can have books read out for them.   He was proud that he had personally completed the first one.   

    That was duplicating, less well, the scheme   an existing large blind charity has already been running for decades. Professional actors do the readings.  BBC has an archive too.   So do libraries. Technology has now produced machines to translate the written word to sound, so people can listen to their private letters, or gas bills.     If only the same money and effort had gone into letting people know the details of the latest gadgets, it would have been some use.


  • newbornnewborn Posts: 202Member Pioneering
    As a major priority, it makes sense for every disability, age, and carers charity to unite in demanding enforcement of equalities law equally, for all Equalities,  with first efforts concentrating on redressing the imbalance of attention and funding to fight  disability/age discrimination, because it is, as the  previous Equalities Chair remarked, "invisible, pervasive, normalised, socially accepted, universally practiced, and institutionalised " 
  • veritercveriterc Posts: 146Community champion Pioneering
    This is a very good idea, but some of the major charities are more intent on building 'brand awareness' than in joining up with potential rivals for funds.  Hence small charities starting up, because they see how their funds they have raised can be used for 'expenses'.
    Having said that, I would be keen if Scope got together with - say - Arthritis, Polio, Osteoporosis etc. and went to the Dept. Health to demand better access to hydrotherapy, and got them to publish a list of hospital pools.
  • Cissoboy_25Cissoboy_25 Posts: 2Member Listener
    Years ago I used a hydrotherapy pool as part of my physio I was sent to one  a few miles away I was warmed up by hot pads first and wrapped in huge towels then taken into the pool it was soo good but coming out side after I had to wrap up as first few times I ended up with a chest infection but yes  I think they help excersise without hurting you and warm too very relaxing.
    We need more of these not closing them down  
  • Pippa_ScopePippa_Scope Posts: 5,858Member Disability Gamechanger
    Welcome to the community @Cissoboy_25, and thanks for sharing your experiences!
  • purpletoastpurpletoast Posts: 1Member Listener
    Access to Hydrotherapy is being cut unless you can demonstrate clinical need/improvement. This doesn’t take account of maintaining the bodies condition, pain relief or mental health benefits. Yet pools are under used and many patients would be willing to pay a small fee for access because of the benefits it provides. 
  • Paddyrooney62Paddyrooney62 Posts: 2Member Listener
    I really enjoy reading the posts from the community. I would love to use Hydro-Pool and will check my local area to see if I can use this Service. This is the first time I have posted as I’m a bit shy ☺️ but getting there...
  • veritercveriterc Posts: 146Community champion Pioneering
    Welcome to the Community,and good luck with finding a pool.  If you do, could you go to www.aftercancers.com and leave the address on one of the hydrotherapy pages please. I am trying to help the British Polio Fellowship compile a list,as the NHS doesn't know what ones it has!
  • Cissoboy_25Cissoboy_25 Posts: 2Member Listener
    I live in Rugby in Warwickshire they did have one in Leamington at the old pump baths on the main High Street I don't know if its still going I was sent there years ago for hydrotherapy if that's any help to ppl in my area 
  • Pippa_ScopePippa_Scope Posts: 5,858Member Disability Gamechanger
    Welcome to the community, @purpletoast and @Paddyrooney62! Great to have both of you here!
  • newbornnewborn Posts: 202Member Pioneering
    edited October 2018
    Hi veriterc, great you are helping the polio people. As you are in touch with them, could you please ask why they only want to limit their list to nhs pools?   What do they have against council owned school pools?  Or, best of all, private pools?

    The paying customer is king.   The nhs patient is a beggar not a chooser. If more people  knew about the benefits of exercise in bath hot water, more would ask for it at leisure centres.   Not just a splash pool for babies, not just a spa bath, a pool for swimming and walking, which could have different depths, but need not be deep at any point.   Heating to a higher temperature (and needing ultraviolet cleaning, not mere chlorine) is offset by having a smaller body of water.  Supply would follow demand.   

    I think in  Hove(?) a woman (retired physio??)turned her small garden swim pool (Henry House??) into a hydropool,  making news by  training herself as a pool engineer into the bargain!

    Benidorm has a large demand from older people, so some hotels have hydropool,  and a local school earns money by letting the public use its hydropool, out of hours.    In u.k., some blocks of flats have hot basement pools.  Nearly all junior and senior council special schools do. 

    But, uk schools don't need money?????Or, u.k. schools think special needs pupils never  need another moment of exercise, from the day they leave school?????Or, u.k. health and education must never communicate?????Or, uk nhs is awash with cash to provide lifelong daily hydrotherapy exercise to the entire population who might benefit????? 

     ( Or, whisper it, uk public services are staffed by and ruled by people who will get their gold plated pensions, regardless of needing to give a moment of thought to the best interests of the public they 'serve'?)

      Most leisure centres have the spa and baby pools.  Nobody reserves times for disabled sessions., Southwark is one of too few which have hoists or pool chairs. 

     Some reason "it's a walk in beach style access"  But they still need either a rail from a dry area right into the pool, or better, a plastic wheeled chair staff are trained to use to assist people with poor mobility, because you can't use zimmer frames and crutches on wet tiles.

    This is a repeat of the blinkered stale thinking which refused women-only exercise centres.  So an entire chain of private gyms now thrives on the demand the others ignore.
  • WaylayWaylay Posts: 804Member Pioneering
    I did a residential pain management programme at the hospital (I have mobility probs and lived at the opposite end of the city). The hydrotherapy pool was AMAZING. I applied to get on the list to use it, and when I had to move suddenly a couple of months later, I moved much closer to the hospital so that I'd be able to get to the hydro pool.

    The hydro pool closed 2 months later.
  • veritercveriterc Posts: 146Community champion Pioneering
    The list isn't limited to NHS ones,but as many can't afford private charges, it will principally concentrate on the NHS.  However, one of best facilities I have tried was an Aqua Treadmill at the Circle in Reading, and this costs £55 a session.  
    The problem with using Gyms and Leisure Centres is pool temp. is often too low (29 degrees) for disabled people - it should be around 34 degrees.
  • DrShahDrShah Posts: 14Member Courageous
    Yep hydro is absolutely beneficial. We used to have a hydro pool as our special school in Nottingham and went in three times a week  with the physio. That pool was absolutely amazing and maintained very well. The school closed about ten years ago and I have no idea what happened to the pool. Any sensible person or community would have run a service for people of Nottingham and the East Midlands. It would have been perfect. Apparently the two large hospitals had one but they closed them. surely it's a more cost-effective way of maintaining health and well-being. 
  • veritercveriterc Posts: 146Community champion Pioneering
    Every hospital or cancer centre I visited in Europe when having cancer treatment had at least one hydro pool - some had several.
    Europe has far better recovery and survival rate after cancer- Britain is ranked 25th out of 27 nations for post-cancer survival by the World Health Authority.
    When will someone in the NHS start to think of beneits of treatment like hydrotherapy? 
  • AJ98AJ98 Posts: 4Member Listener
    There are more hydro pools for dogs and horses than there are for people.  I find the hydro pool helps me to be out of pain for a short time whilst in the pool but once i get out the pain is back.

    I havent had hydro for years as there arent any groups in my area.
  • newbornnewborn Posts: 202Member Pioneering
    The greedy versus the needy.

     No limit for tax funding of Olympic athletes. No tax funding at all for exercise facilities specially tailored for disabled people.   

    Re-hab centres should exclude fit athletes. If pools are warm enough for disability exercise, they are too cold for athletes. If gyms are suited to athletes,  they are not suited for extremely disabled people .

    Remember the Equality Duty, then ask.
    ..... Public policy should ensure A) Fit people get leaflets exhorting them to go for a daily walk? Or,  B) Elite athletes should take public funds to advance their careers? 

    Or,....... C) Seriously injured or disabled people should have priority of all planning and funding?

    The muddle in the middle can go running or walking, or pay for their own alternative from dancing to rock climbing.   

    The greatest result in value for time, provision, money invested comes from the most extremely  disabled.  An athlete needs an extra year of intense training and coaching, merely to get a fraction faster. 

    But, a profoundly disabled/injured person can have his life transformed,  and a degree of independence and autonomy, or return to work like Prof. S. Hawkins, just by having special passive/active exercise machines and concentrated physio, to restore a small control of movement in one finger, to operate his own wheelchair or voice simulator.
  • veritercveriterc Posts: 146Community champion Pioneering
    I so agree - yet when we plead with hospitals to give us therapies that we know will make us mobile, they don't want to know.

  • DoriFishDoriFish Posts: 24Member Connected
    I have asked & all I got back join a gym or your local pool
    For one the water is usually to cold the & two battling able bodied swimmers, other is costs!
    They would prefer to dish out more pills than help in a more positive way..
    What can you say?
  • grandma46grandma46 Posts: 5Member Listener
    Local hospital eventually after much pressure kept hydro pool but no hoists available and now no disabled parking nearby!

  • Debra_LorraineDebra_Lorraine Posts: 15Member Connected
     Hi i managed to access hydrotherapy  I found it absolutely great at improving my mobility. However because I was referred to it to reduce pain and It had not made much difference to pain and because I was referred to it to reduce pain, I only had six weeks and it ended.  Improving mobility was not a good reason to be allowed to continue.
  • veritercveriterc Posts: 146Community champion Pioneering
    This happened to me, so I made a list of all the conitions I had, which I don't normally make a fuss about, went to see my GP and asked for a referral to relevant consultants, and when I got to see them asked them to refer me for hydro.
    The current system wastes so much NHS time and money, but it's the way the Tic Box Mandarins like to play it.
    Inncidentally, which hospital did you go to with a Hydro pool?  I am helping make a list sowe can use the pools, and ensure they don't get cllpsed down because of limited use.


  • veritercveriterc Posts: 146Community champion Pioneering
    In the weird way the NHS works, if your Hydro pool is closed, make a stink about needing a hoist for disabled people, threaten to demonstrate, and I bet you get a hoist installed.
    There is an organisation called Save Our NHS - those near me demonstrate at the drop of a hat.  I am sure they would like a sensible reason to mount a demo.
  • Debra_LorraineDebra_Lorraine Posts: 15Member Connected
     The hydrotherapy Pool is at Frimley Park Hospital. I will go back to gp and see if I can get another  referral 
  • veritercveriterc Posts: 146Community champion Pioneering
    Good luck - maybe we should suggest Scope organises lessions on "How to play the NHS at its own game!"
  • newbornnewborn Posts: 202Member Pioneering
    The pharmaceutical industry makes billions from selling chemicals to the n.h.s. I. E. Licenced drug pushing.     (Just like the tobacco industry etc.)

    Of course, they will  use some of their vast financial resources to openly or covertly lobby and influence public  policy makers. 

    Of course, this is motivated by profits and/or back pockets.    It can never even be pretended this is  intended to be in the best interests of the public............Just like, say, lobbying from the tobacco industry, the gambling industry,  the alcohol industry.

    The only contesting to the way the n.h.s is run, comes from yet another self interest, the terrifying n.h.s union bosses who bullied honest whistleblowers, such as the nurse in Wales who, among other revenge atrocities, found her mother in law's body had been dug from the grave.    This organised hate mob don't want the public to have a good health service at a fair price, if it threatens the monopoly power of union bosses.  We have one of the worst, not best, health outcomes in the developed world.

    Single individuals in the n.h.s certainly do work hard and honourably, just as single coal miners, steel workers, dockers,   ship builders, and newspaper printers once did, till their forced or willing obedience to union bosses wrecked their industries.

    Has anyone ever explained why the n.h.s is "the world's biggest employer"?  Most countries, mainly with bigger populations,  have public health services, most are better than n.h.s.    Given the fact that every other country has less staff, for better health outcomes, what on earth are all the non productive people doing, in this country, on the taxpayers'  payroll?   

    Is it like the discredited press print industry, where union bosses endlessly defended gross inefficiency and over staffing with only a fraction of the workforce actually having a productive job  ?
    (in fact, many on the payroll were fictitious,  with, at worst, people signing in with multiple names and pay packets issued to 'Mick mouse', Donald Duck, etc.)
  • veritercveriterc Posts: 146Community champion Pioneering
    The only way the NHS is going to improve is if everyone one of us points out where it could be better, then asks politely why it isn't.  I now search out a decision maker, and quietly ask "could we have,,,"   which has ranged from getting proper pain control when being given an X-ray of broken bones in A & E (this was withheld until the doctor looked at X-rays as saved time) to getting more hydro sessions because I ask every consultant to recommend it.  Many say they never thought of this.   So good luck - just ask!
  • mrsjbc01mrsjbc01 Posts: 2Member Listener
    I have written to Lloyd’s gym asking why in there adverts say that they are such a modern organisation why do they not have a sloped access to their pools. They replayed quite simply saying that they provide a hoist, which is all that they are required to provide by law.
    i feel so frustrated I have C.P like most of us here I do not have a deadly desese, and yet my husband can keep himself fit, he can enter a warm indoor swimming pool but I can never accompany him because there is no way I can climb in or out of the pool and believe me I have tried.
    i want to go swimming with my grandchildren. 
    When I was younger swimming was one of the things I loved I was more agile then now at almost 60 my legs don’t bend so well, but all the time I am being told by the GP you need to lose weight to help with your diabetes but how can I if I can’t get in the ..... pool. 
    We need to fight this
  • newbornnewborn Posts: 202Member Pioneering
    Can you not use any hoist? 

    I know it isn't one size fits all. Some people need one type of hoist, some another, some need steps, some need slopes. 

     People who are unsteady walkers  cannot safely walk on wet tiles into a pool.  (It isn't safe to lean on eityer companions or staff, and certainly not safe to use rubber tipped walkers or sticks or crutches)

     They need either a firm railing from the dry area, right into the water, or else a pool-entry wheeled chair, which staff can use to transfer them safely from changing area into the depth they prefer.
  • veritercveriterc Posts: 146Community champion Pioneering
    I've seen wheelchairs being used to transfer patients for hydro- the type that are used for taking a shower on the wards seem pefectly suitable,and must be cheaper than installing hoists.  It just needs a bit of thought to find the right one. 
  • grandma46grandma46 Posts: 5Member Listener
    Of course there are those who are unable to support themselves in a shower chair or need hoist to transfer from wheelchair to shower chair. Unfortunately when it comes to disability no one size fits all.  Some are unable to weight bear at all which is why hydro gives such freedom and benefit as pull of gravity lessoned by bouancy of water and more movement possible. 
  • Debra_LorraineDebra_Lorraine Posts: 15Member Connected
    It seems that the policy  is more important than human beings,  They wanted to bring down teenage pregnancy so instead of insureing schools understood the right of consent  and emotional pressure,  The answer was to use any excuse possible to put girls on the pill and fill the body full of drugs, Seen too many kids in their early 20s after stepping away from these toxins  and Now can’t use the pill when They need it,  however the target was met teenage pregnancies down,  The side-effects, Collateral damage are not documented but we live with the policy’s. 
     I see this is no different with weight on disability,  if you can’t move its because you’re overweight.  Your told to loose weight.  The fact that you’ve gained weight while sitting 12 to 18 months on the waiting list for assistance  for chronic pain or injury,  is seen as not relevant. Because the policy now says anyone overweight has to lose weight first before they get any treatment for anything.  Weight is now to blame for every health condition.  And yet you asked for assistance to get more mobile and the answer is no, mobility is currently not a policy !

      
  • veritercveriterc Posts: 146Community champion Pioneering
    Don't you wonder if the right hand knows what the NHS's left hand is up to.  Can't see that the PR puff blowing around today about 'Prevention' is going to make any difference.  If you try to get hydrotheraoy to stay mobile I can't see us getting any more sessions. - Can you?
    Whoever invented tick boxes has a lot to answer for. As long as someone can tick a box that says we have had our 'officia' hydrotherapy sessions, this means no-one needs to continue to supply these!
  • newbornnewborn Posts: 202Member Pioneering
    Veriterc is right. Tick box is wrong.   

    Hand out tax cash to whichever smooth talkers have pals in the right place.  Then, let them think up their own tick box to justify spending  their funds.

    Employ  pals on high pay?  Fine.   Hand out leaflets telling the public to stop smoking and drinking and eating junk food ?   More leaflets telling them not to be so fat?   Yet more, proclaiming that everyone needs to go running daily ?   All absolutely fine, at unlimited cost.    

    But not much use, if the recipients don't smoke or drink, eat a careful diet, are thin, and would dearly love to go running, but the zimmer frame makes that yet another insulting, alienating proof that officially, nobody has mobility problems, or if they have, that they are just another irritating abberant  creature who doesn't feature on the tick box, therefore is not  supposed to exist at all.

    .
  • Margaret7Margaret7 Posts: 4Member Listener
    veriterc said:
    Welcome to the Community,and good luck with finding a pool.  If you do, could you go to www.aftercancers.com and leave the address on one of the hydrotherapy pages please. I am trying to help the British Polio Fellowship compile a list,as the NHS doesn't know what ones it has!

  • Margaret7Margaret7 Posts: 4Member Listener
    Hi I live in Bucks. In fact quite near stoke Mandivlle hosp.   I do use Hydro pool and yes I feel so good after wards . But only once a week right now ..I do believe many Hospitals would open their Hydro pools .    If more Physo people would C to  be their to watch over the people in the pool .. I do a evening session   But would love to do a lunch time  once a week also .  As the pool is closed for a whole hour. Or more ... But again it the physio people has got to v but when we pay our monies they also get paid for the Sessions.    But I also use the Stadium pool , it self. 2 or 3 times a week if I can.  God you know the difference after that hot pool .But I do believe all hospitals do have hydro pools . It just getting the  Physos people to work it .lunch times. Evenings. In their free times .  

    So so why not goggle and just ask you may be surprised where ever you live and your Hospitals you live by ... Try on websites  sometimes you don’t need to be refereed it might just be a phone call .... good luck all x
  • Margaret7Margaret7 Posts: 4Member Listener
    please escuse my Grammer not too good with it .  
  • newbornnewborn Posts: 202Member Pioneering
    Where possible a group might hire a pool, but would need insurance, and probably a bond to cover the cost of a "backwash" (the system for cleaning a hydropool when a user has vomited).   There is a need for a group to prove to the premises management there will be someone to sue.

    The myriad of splinter group charities for this that and every different disability will resolutely remain rigidly segregated.    If, for example, Polio rents a local hydro pool on one session a fortnight, and Cancer rents the same pool once a month, then even their own potential members might well be excluded, merely by the timing.  The whole of the surrounding area might be stuffed full of enough potential hydropool users to keep it running 24/7, paying for hydrotherapist supervision, and making a profit.    But it will be closed, from 'underuse', or left idle most hours, most days, .

    Above all, they would need to guarantee they have employed their own lifeguard.  (Which might seem o.t.t. for a waist high mini pool, but actually  plenty of people do have lifeguard certificates, so it isn't impossible)

    The impossible bit is likely to be in employing a hydrotherapist for love or money.  One private hospital sells ostensible hydrotherapy but the sessions are in truth run by a physiotherapist.   Hydrotherapy is a different specialism, in which he has no training, no expertise, and no interest or belief. He openly asserts that he cannot see any point in hydro.  He believes physio on dry land, (his own area of training), is all anyone should need or receive. 

    It's interesting that the T. V. experiment showed 9 out  of 10 old people improved health, strength, balance, mental and emotional wellbeing, from being freed from age segregation .  (And that the children also benefitted ) Interesting too that they had no idea their strength etc. could be improved at all, only decline further and further.    
  • newbornnewborn Posts: 202Member Pioneering
    P.S. there are single cubicles systems, which are filled like a bath for each user, obviating any risk from people who need warm water, but cannot use communal pools due to having problems with fainting, continence or vomiting (a frequent problem).
  • veritercveriterc Posts: 146Community champion Pioneering
    There is a fantastic Aqua Treadmill installed at The Circle Hospital in Reading.  A basic treadmill, enclosed by glass, so when doors are closed it can be filled with warm water which supports you as you exercise.  I understand Circle are installing these in a Birmingham centre - and let's hope more.  This is run by a private company (£55 half hour session), but as it is much cheaper to install than a hydrotherapy pool maybe the NHS might look at the benefits?  
  • newbornnewborn Posts: 202Member Pioneering
    This country has plenty of publicly funded hydro pools, which are empty the majority of the day, and year. They are in hospitals and in special needs schools.  

    Has research proved that mobility impaired, arthritic, pain filled people have absolutely  no need for exercise, although  daily pulse raising e exercise is essential for everyone else the entire population,  who are physically able to  go for a run or work out in a gym?

    Has research proved that special needs school pupils need hydrotherapy during week days and never during school holidays ?

    Has research proved that the moment those pupils reach school leaving age, they cease needing exercise for the rest of their lives?

    If these things are not  facts,  why have those in power designed public  health and exercise provision  as if they are?


  • veritercveriterc Posts: 146Community champion Pioneering
    You are right - and it's yet another example of NHS funding that isn't spent correctly.
  • FernieFernie Posts: 2Member Listener
    Years ago whilst suffering with many back ailments following a car accident, I didn't know hydrotherapy was a thing, but after a very long recovery, realised the local aquafit classes really helped.77

    I lived in NZ, 4 years ago, and injured myself snowboarding. I then found out I had a problem with my hips that was not caused but exacerbated by the snowboarding mishap. Whilst waiting for surgery, the local leisure centre had a whole lane dedicated to aquajogging. I was introduced to aquajogging by my flatmate. Her dad is an ironman athelete, and they use aquajogging for fitness training, epecially when they injure themselves. Apparently in her home country of Germany its very popular, so it seems in NZ. 

    I moved back to the UK to have surgery, My nearby pool in Newmarket had a session called Aqua gym, where they had 6 pieces of gym equipment bolted to the side of the kiddies pool. The depth was set to 150cm (moving floor) and you could rotate and exercise on each piece of equipment. I found the equipment quite restrictive, but it did get people on GP referrals moving and gently exercising. What I found helpful was that when I attempted to aquajog in the deep end of a regular lane in the regular main pool, I am much slower than the slowest breast strokers in the slow lane, and they find I get in the way. Also the pool temperature is too cold.

    So I used these aquagym sessions in the nice warm, deep kids pool to get back to being able to walk unaided again. 3 years later of 'normalness' and I've had a relapse big time. I've gone back to the pool to find that they only offer one after office hours evening class, and very few in the day time. Also they don't have an on duty lifeguard in the closed kids pool in the evening, and the main pool has only one session from 5pm per week for a standard swim if I want to brave the cold main pool. Now its all kids lessons. Which I suppose is down to cut backs. 

    Its such a bloomin shame that aquajogging, hydrotherapy etc is just not a thing here in the UK. If I was a dog, there are 4 odd hydrotherapy pools within 20 miles of us!

    Like mentioned above, its easier to prescribe ££££ pills rather than invest in keeping people healthy. The other thing I really struggle with is getting from the changing rooms to the pool on crutches, its like an ice rink!!! It is the only thing in my life where I would like the assistance of a carer, as i'm petrified of slipping and falling on my hips. I need to find some easy slide grippy shoes to wear pool side. 

    Can anyone head up a non  specific disability campaign/petition for this?
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 486Member Pioneering
    This is a good idea. The only aquatherapy pool I know of is at Stanmore Hospital. We are currently looking at the options for aqua therapy for DS as well. I’m assuming that it’s purely a funding issue. If anyone knows of any therapy pools in Surrey please let me know. This is a notoriously difficult topic on which I can find very little information to help me make a decision. What are the benefits of aqua therapy? Is it free or not? 
  • FernieFernie Posts: 2Member Listener
    In terms of free or not, some clinics or consultants can refer to service where you are assisted through moves etc to do in a pool. Some charities offer a service for various disabled groups or for adults with learning disabilities. Think of it a bit like physiotherapy in a pool. The resistance of the water aids building muscle strength but also being in water takes pressure off your joints nerves and muscles so people find it easier and perhaps less painful to do movements under the water.

    Also hydrotherapy can be done alone. For example a physio I know in the North of England sells a booklet of Hydrotherapy exercises to be done after a hip arthroscopy (the op I had). This does not need a special referal, anyone can buy the book or look up similar exercises on the Internet and go to any pool that is suitable and do them.

    What is annoying there is no national website that collates the organisations, and locations where this is done.. And thr variety of services and who they ate open to or suitable for vary wildly. 
  • newbornnewborn Posts: 202Member Pioneering
    The *temperature* is the vital difference.  There are physical effects of bath-hot heat.  The pain eases, the muscles relax, the stiff joints can move, the  sinoveal fluid changes.  Cold water makes arthritic joints seize, makes joints rigid, makes muscles tense. Attempts to exercise in those circumstances can cause pain, damage and further  injury.

    There are special gyms with powered passive/active equipment, gently vibrating plates for wheelchair users to place their feet on, and individual hydro boxes,  fitted with treadmills and cycles and hoists, as well as pools with lift chairs and resistance flows and underwater treadmills and balance balls and more.

    The route from home to centre through changing and showering  and  safe access to exercise all needs planning, to ensure it does not unlawfully exclude aged and disabled potential  service users.   Volunteer or apprentice  assistance would facilitate progress, including using a transfer wheelchair or trolley to be taken to and from the changing rooms.

    Exercises and activities   and classes that are usually  carried  out by people  lying on the  floor must be carried  out on safe raised benches if they are to be accessible  to millions who are physically incapable of  scrambling up and down from a floor.  

    In other countries, and in u.k. ex service centres, specialist  trainers can coach extremely disabled people to gradually increase their balance and strength and work on muscles they cannot otherwise manage.  Walking in  warm water gives both support and resistance, and each person can have tasks tailor made, such as pushing a ball down, or putting an inflated armband round  a foot, and pushing it down.

    Athletes would be unable to swim in such warm water.  So public pools  in u.k. are heated to a temperature  originally  set by the now defunct Amateur  Athletic Swimming  Association. Athletes and any perfectly fit healthy people do not need public funding to get exercise. They can go jogging, or pay for gyms with suitable training facilities.   They are greedy not needy. 

    Kiddies and babies can use the many publicly funded  playgrounds or  splash and urinate in their own baths.    Healthy people can walk in the park, go dancing, or whatever they wish, all without funding from taxes or n.h.s. 

     The injured and many of the  increasing elderly and  disabled population are the ones who  need publicly funded specialist rehabilitation centres and for the facilities to be available for maintenance of health for people who can * not *   just "take a brisk daily walk".  
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