PHYSIOTHERAPISTS at Russells Hall Hospital have been working to help the recovery of patients go swimmingly by continuing treatments in the hydrotherapy pool during lockdown.

The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust worked with regulators to ensure they could carry on seeing patients at the pool safely, helping to speed up their recovery.

One of only a few in the Midlands region, the pool is used by people recovering from lower limb injuries, trauma caused by car accidents, mums-to-be with pelvic girdle pain, children with fractures and dislocations and neurological patients.

The hydrotherapy pool at Russells Hall Hospital, Dudley, which is one of just a few in the region. Pic - Dudley Group

The hydrotherapy pool at Russells Hall Hospital, Dudley, which is one of just a few in the region. Pic - Dudley Group

Caroline Swain, clinical specialist physiotherapist, said: “We were able to open the pool back up in October, having closed last March, following advice from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists.

“We are seeing less patients overall but it’s a really safe environment and patients are delighted to have their treatments.

“Instead of having six patients in the pool at once we have three, and we have two sessions in a morning and two in an afternoon.

“Patients come ‘beach ready’ with their swimming stuff on under their clothes and we ask them to have had a shower within an hour before, and shower again when they get home.

"They wear a mask in the pool because they are not swimming. They are screened before they come in and research by Imperial College London has shown the virus only lasts 30 seconds in chlorine, under the right conditions.”

With social distancing, enhanced cleaning and other Covid measures reducing the number of patients seen, the service has also had to cope with staff being redeployed to Covid wards at the height of the pandemic.

Caroline said they were now back up to full strength with staffing, and they expect to see more patients referred to them as more elective procedures are carried out.

She said: “The therapy we are able to give in the pool is a great benefit to patients who are struggling with weight bearing and it really makes a difference to the rate at which they are able to reach their goals."

Diane Wake, Dudley Group chief executive, said: “The therapy offered in our hydro pool is a good example of how hard staff have worked to ensure we keep doing all we can for our patients, despite Covid.

“The team has shown what determination to find a solution, and put our patients first, can do. We’re really lucky to have this facility in Dudley and I’m glad it has continued to be put to good use.”