Agenda item

Questions asked by members.


The Chief Executive reported that the following question had been received under Standing Order 7(3) and 7(5):


Question by Mr. P. King CC:


Recently I received the following information from local charity Arthritis Support Leicestershire:-


At the heart of our charity’s ethos is Self Help and we support people of all backgrounds and cultures to manage their Arthritis and other related MSK conditions by providing a range of activities such as

- Zoom adapted Yoga

- gentle exercises

- activities for children and families

- well-being workshops about living with Arthritis 

- I T and telephone support.


Our most popular activity is weekly hydrotherapy for up to 24 people or at least it was until we lost the use of the hydrotherapy pool at Leicester General Hospital.

The Charity has a fantastic volunteer who has managed this project for us and we also have qualified Lifeguards who have provided weekly support at the pool.


 The loss of the pool at LGH has been due to a problem with the ventilation system which is need of repair. This problem was reported just at the start of the pandemic so we have been unable to provide this much needed service for our members for over 2 years.


In order to find alternative provision, we have reached out to local radio, the Press, local pools and there is a provision being made at Oadby Parklands Leisure Centre. This pool however, is not warm enough to provide our members with any long lasting benefits that a proper Hydrotherapy pool would give such as :

- reduced pain

- Improvements in joint flexibility and movement

- strengthening muscles and joints, - improved circulation

- positive well being  (link between chronic pain and mental well being cannot be underestimated)

 - networking (groups have developed great relationships  and friendships over the years)


The loss of the pool at LGH has had a negative impact on all of the above.


Access to the Hydrotherapy pool at the Leicester General is a must if we are to help improve the quality of life for our members with MSK conditions. “


In exchanges of emails previously with Andy Williams in his role as the tri-CCGs Cx and also the new Cx of UHL Richard Mitchell, I have questioned them both previously as to when this pool will be brought back into use and been advised that it needs fixing but that no funds are available.


In the proposals for the £450M Building Better Hospitals plans, there was a proposal to close the LGH Hydro-facility, and replace it with “hydrotherapy pools already located in community settings to provide care closer to home”.


Given that this note from ASL confirms that there are no suitable existing available facilities in the community to use, can UHL confirm:

a)       where the currently available and age appropriate facilities that they referenced in the BBH proposals and consultation are located in LLR?

b)       why none of these facilities have apparently been made available to ASL users and others to support their conditions?

c)        What is the precise issue with the present Hydro-pool facility?

d)       what is the estimated cost of repairs?

e)       how long will it take to fix?

f)        Is there a definite intention or work plan commitment to fix it and bring it back into use?



Reply by the Chairman:


The above questions were forwarded to both University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and the Integrated Care Board and written answers were sought in time for the meeting today. However, to date I have not received any information in response and am therefore unable to answer the questions from Mr. King CC at this current time. I am aware the NHS has been under great pressure recently and they have other priorities which may explain the lack of a response. I will continue to seek the information from the NHS in order to answer the questions and will provide a further written answer after the meeting when I can.



Note: Subsequent to the meeting the following response was received from the NHS:


While the public consultation identified several potential locations, none of these are deemed suitable for hydrotherapy provision.


c). What is the precise issue with the present Hydro-pool facility? 


During the pandemic, hydrotherapy provision was ceased, due to concerns with infection prevention, primarily with air exchange. The decision was subsequently taken to keep the pool closed due to the deteriorating quality of the aged air handling unit.


d) What is the estimated cost of repairs?


The estimated repair cost is £153,000 including VAT. 


e). how long will it take to fix?


The repairs are estimated to take up to three months to complete following approval.


f) Is there a definite intention or work plan commitment to fix it and bring it back into use?


This is subject to availability of capital funding in 2023/24. A detailed proposal for capital expenditure in 2023/24 financial year will be brought to the Trust Board in the Spring of 2023 for review and approval, and the hydrotherapy pool will be considered in this process.


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