Hydrotherapy is the use of water for exercise, and differs from swimming because it involves special exercises in warm water (usually about 32C to 35C) no swimming is involved; it can make a real difference to your strength and stamina.
SADLY DUE TO THE CLOSURE OF THE ROYAL BERKSHIRE HOSPITAL POOL WE ARE NOT ABLE TO OFFER MEMBERS HYDROTHERAPY SESSIONS AT PRESENT.
However, we are continuing our efforts to organise some access to aquatic physiotherapy exercise locally.
Aquatic Therapy and Hydrotherapy Alliance
Although the RBH pool is closed, we feel it is vital that the campaign to make hydrotherapy accessible is continued. We have therefore joined the Aquatic Therapy and Hydrotherapy Alliance, spearheaded by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, the Aquatic Therapy Association of Chartered Physiotherapists and the National Axial Spondyloarthritis Society (NASS) who are concerned at the increasing number of hydrotherapy pool closures. Other members include:
Arthritis Action, Ehlers-Danlos Support, Uk Muscluar Dystrophy UK, Polio Survivors Network, Swim England, and Versus Arthritis amongst others.
A National Manifesto for Hydrotherapy was published in March 2021 with the following commitments:
● Ensure everyone in the UK has reasonable access to an NHS hydrotherapy pool within their local area with clear, clinically appropriate referral pathways.
● Halt the further closure of existing hydrotherapy pools and ensure aquatic physiotherapy services are considered in any hospital redevelopments/new builds.
● Take forward a coordinated research programme that can help to maximise the utility of aquatic physiotherapy care for the widest amount of people.
● Embed aquatic physiotherapy care within key relevant national guidelines.
● Develop a recognised aquatic physiotherapy service provision audit tool that can support a consistent evaluation of local implementation and patient outcomes.
● Promote hydrotherapy pools locally to raise wider awareness and to support them becoming increasingly self-funding, in partnership with patient groups.
Our local campaign for the RBH pool may have ended, but the Alliance, with its wealth of experienced professionals and the backing of so many influential national charities and patient groups, is our best hope for a hydrotherapy service in the future. In the meantime, we will continue to try and access some form of aquatic therapy for our members in the local area.