Many of you will have read SDN Member Carole Lawrence article in “Your Voice” this month called “Art is Good for Pain relief” If you have not read it, then it is worth a read now by looking under the “Newsletter” tab on SDN website and downloading it from there. We always welcome contributions from our members both in “Your Voice” and on SDN website as these tools belong to you our Members so it is important to have items from you. It is always good to have feedback and interaction from members. Carole was invited to “blog” for us and She has written this piece about Hydrotherapy in Shrewsbury. What are your experiences? Where do you go for hydrotherapy? Do you need hydrotherapy but can’t access it or it comes at a price? Tell us about your experiences and use a “pet” name if you want (note all articles to SDN are screened beforehand)


Thank you Carole or sharing with the wider Membership of SDN, we hope others will contribute articles I the future.



I suffer with Arthritis and Fibromyalgia.  About 6 or 7 years ago I started to attend Hydrotherapy, firstly via the physiotherapists then through a private group called Mercia Hydrotherapy Group, part of Arthritis Care.  We attended once a week on a Thursday morning at the Hydrotherapy pool in Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.  I found that regular attendance increased my mobility to such an extent that I was now able to walk round a small supermarket, something I had been unable to do before.  I kept attending the Shrewsbury pool for about 3 years until one day it closed without notice, finally giving the excuse of health and safety and infection control for the sudden closure.


Mercia Hydrotherapy Group fought tirelessly for three years to get the pool re-opened, meeting with the PCT and the Hospital Trust on numerous occasions and also gaining the support of the council’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Panel and the local MP, Daniel Kawczynski.  I also gained the support of Baroness Celia Thomas of Winchester who mentioned our plight in the House of Lords.  Baroness Thomas is passionate about the benefits of hydrotherapy for people with long term health conditions, being disabled herself and battles at Department of Health level to get this therapy available to all who wish to attend.


The hospital trust finally made the decision that the pool would not re-open at all due to the cost of bringing it up to modern standards.


Mercia Hydrotherapy Group eventually were offered a place at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Hospital Hydrotherapy Pool in Gobowen via the Oswestry branch of Arthritis Care.  I have been attending for a little over a year now at Oswestry and have found that although it does maintain my mobility, the long drive to and from (a 51 mile round trip), takes away from the benefit that it gives, and have now had to give up going to the hydrotherapy pool due to the pain the long drive gives me.


It is unfortunate that we no longer have access to a Hydrotherapy pool in Shrewsbury as hydrotherapy has been shown to give benefits to all types of health conditions, both long and short term.  Such conditions as arthritis, fibromyalgia, muscular dystrophy, depression, stomach problems, sleep disorders and stress, to name just a few.


The healing properties of hydrotherapy are based on its mechanical and thermal effects. It makes use of the body’s reaction to hot and cold stimuli, to the protracted application of heat, to the pressure exerted by the water, and to the sensation of the water itself. Nerves carry what is felt by the skin deeper into the body, where it is then vital in stimulating the immune system, influencing the production of stress hormones, improving circulation and digestion, encouraging the flow of blood, and lessening the body’s sensitivity to pain.


It is ironic that the Hydrotherapy pool at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital remains closed and unused.  The cost to bring it up to date is the same as the cost to rip it out and use the room for another purpose, so to this day some four and half years after it closed it remains so.  I continue my quest to get a Hyrdotherapy Pool in Shrewsbury and wonder are a others in a similar situation to me so please share your thoughts and experiences.

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