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Community groups use NHS hydrotherapy pools when they are not needed for physiotherapy sessions

Photo Credit: Swansea Bay University Health Board
Physio assistant Daniel Clark, physios Holly Speare & Kristen Bucknall and Jordanna Roberts

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Jordanna Roberts, a physiotherapy clinical lead at Swansea Bay University Health Board, is inviting organisations that promote health and wellbeing to book sessions in two local hydrotherapy pools.

The pools, which are located at Neath Port Talbot and Singleton hospitals, are now available when they are not being used for clinical sessions.

The move will be seen as a positive one by campaigning organisations, such as the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP), which voiced concern in April over the closure of a number of NHS pools in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Water Babies' success

Physically any exercise and movement has a multitude of health benefits, including improving mood, sleep, physical strength and mobility, alongside preventing against chronic health conditions [Jordanna Roberts]

One group that is now using the Neath Port Talbot pool is Water Babies, which delivers swimming courses for children before they start school. Growing numbers of children are attending the sessions, which are part-funded through a grant from Neath Port Talbot council.

Ms Roberts said: ‘There is a social element which has been missing for many during Covid, so the lessons are a chance for mums to network and build up supportive parenting relationships.

‘Physically any exercise and movement has a multitude of health benefits, including improving mood, sleep, physical strength and mobility, alongside preventing against chronic health conditions.

Ms Roberts added: ‘The warm and buoyant water within the pool reduces joint load and can make stretching and movement more effective and comfortable.’

'Excellent facility'

Water Babies director Aletia Griffiths said: ‘We’re delighted to be able to hold our classes at Neath Port Talbot Hospital’s hydrotherapy pool – it’s an excellent facility.

‘In the last few years, at least 10 tiny Water Babies pupils in the UK have saved their own lives, five of whom were just two years old at the time. It’s fantastic what vital skills children can learn, and it’s so important that they do so as soon as possible.

Ms Griffiths added: ‘As well as water safety skills and enjoying the water, another key focus is to help strengthen the bond between carer and child.’

Factfile

In the UK, drowning is the third highest cause of accidental death among babies and children.

In most cases, the shock of sudden submersion causes children to panic, but introducing infants to water from very early on can make a real difference. By the age of two, toddlers can be taught to fall in, surface, swim to the side and hold on.

To book the hydrotherapy pools at Neath Port Talbot Hospital and Singleton Hospital, email: Jordanna.Roberts@wales.nhs.uk

To read more about this topic, visit: https://sbuhb.nhs.wales/news/swansea-bay-health-news/water-babies-make-a-splash-at-hospital-hydro-pools/

The CSP has launched a range of resources for members working in aquatic therapy who want to promote their services and protect pools. Its campaign is backed by the Aquatic Physiotherapy and Hydrotherapy Alliance, which includes the Aquatic Therapy Association of Chartered Physiotherapists, the National Axial Spondyloarthritis Society and Swim England. 

For more information, visit: https://www.csp.org.uk/campaigns-influencing/campaigns/aquatic-physiotherapy

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