Charing Cross Hydrotherapy Pool to Reopen

Hospital Trust confirms rethink on popular resource

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A hydrotherapy pool at Charing Cross Hospital which closed suddenly in December will reopen next month following pressure from Hammersmith & Fulham Council and Hammersmith and Fulham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The pool closed on New Year's Eve following little consultation and since then patients have been forced to travel outside the borough to use alternative pools at Chelsea & Westminster, the Royal Chelsea Hospital or Teddington Pools and Fitness Centre – an hour’s journey on public transport, eight and a half miles away.

But the u-turn by Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust means that the pool will now reopen in February with a full service, but in the meantime will continue to provide other types of physiotherapy.

Over the last decade, hydrotherapy sessions at the Charing Cross pool have provided essential therapeutic support for more than 150 residents with learning disabilities and long-term mobility issues. Sixteen people use the pool every week – and that is only the number of people known to the council – and the changes were set to affect hundreds of residents.

A spokeswoman for Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust says: " We can confirm that the hydrotherapy pool at Charing Cross Hospital which closed at the end of last year is due to be re-opened.

" The re-opening of the facility follows discussions with our local commissioners and representations from Hammersmith & Fulham Council. The Trust has always acknowledged that the pool is a popular resource for some patients, but we face the challenge that it is not used enough to cover its running costs. We will be undertaking a further review of the current running costs and looking at other potential opportunities for increasing income.

" After the hydropool service has been restarted, we aim to re-open the facility in February. In the meantime our Trust continues to provide a wide range of physiotherapy services that help patients to recover from injuries, illness and hospital operations."

Dr Tim Spicer, Chair of Hammersmith & Fulham CCG, says: " The council and CCG have had constructive discussions with Imperial College Healthcare regarding the hydrotherapy pool at Charing Cross and we are pleased to say that there has been a joint agreement to reopen the service."

Cllr Marcus Ginn, cabinet member for community care, says:
" We are glad that Imperial Trust has finally listened to the voice of reason and seen sense to reopen the pool, which provides a vital service to hundreds of residents.

"The CCG share the concerns of LBHF and stepped in to save the unit. This is a ray of light that shows people are finally being listened to."