Hydro-Therapy Facilities in West Suffolk: Ruffley Keeps Up The Pressure

Tuesday, 29 July, 2003

David Ruffley has been campaigning for the reinstatement of hydro-therapy facilities for his constituents ever since the closure of the hydro-therapy pool at West Suffolk Hospital in September 2001.

He has been keeping up the pressure on both West Suffolk Hospital and the Suffolk West Primary Care Trust to re-open the pool as well as providing warm water therapy at council leisure centres where possible.

David's campaigning has resulted in a meeting taking place recently between the Suffolk West Primary Care Trust (SWPCT) and representatives from the West Suffolk Hydro-Care Group which is chaired by Dr Anne Nicholls and represents the interests of patients who can be assisted by hydro-therapy.

The following action points arose from that meeting:

1. The West Suffolk Hospital would provide a detailed schedule of works and costings involved in refurbishing the pool.

2. This report would in turn enable decisions to be made on whether reopening of the pool was affordable.

3. SWPCT is to work in partnership with district councils and the private sector to develop pools capable of offering warm-water therapy. The PCT would also develop a mobile physiotherapy team to provide the specialised therapy support needed by each of these pools.

4. The PCT and Hydro Care Group are to set up a pilot to test the ability of district councils to provide the facility for warm water therapy.

5. The PCT and Hydro Care Group agreed to produce a joint specification for warm water therapy to be used as a basis for the pilot.

David said: 'I am pleased that my lobbying on behalf of constituents who could greatly benefit from hydro-therapy is at last bearing fruit. By bringing together the parties involved and putting pressure on the West Suffolk Hospital and the Suffolk West Primary Care Trust, we now have an action plan. I see this as a positive step forward but I will be keeping up the pressure to ensure that the momentum is maintained. I have asked Tony Ranzetta, Chief Executive of the PCT for a timescale and I will do all I can to hold him to it for the sake of my constituents who have been without hydro-therapy facilities for nearly two years.'