It looks like an agreement has been thrashed out over wider community use of the hydrotherapy pool at Borders General Hospital.
NHS Borders has already made it clear that it will at some point need to close the pool to make way for the next phase of improvement work to the out-patients department at the hospital.
The plan is for water-based therapy and exercise as part of rehabilitation sessions to take place in local public swimming pools and eventually at a new purpose-built specialist facility in Jedburgh.
But at the February meeting of NHS Borders board, approval was granted for the potential hiring of two weekly sessions at the BGH pool in the interim to an established local charity and to a local private physiotherapist. The Borders Patients Action Group (BPAG) has been working with NHS staff to find a way in which use of the BGH pool can be maximised by a greater number of people.
BPAG confirmed it has been working with a local charity with a view to it using the pool for its members and says it wants to hear from other Borders charities, sports groups etc, that are similarly interested.
“This project has been seen as a useful collaborative model for the eventual move to a community-based model of water-based therapies once a new hydrotherapy pool at Jedburgh is built,” said a BPAG statement this week.
However, while confirming the new pool-sharing arrangement, NHS Borders also warned this week: “The hydrotherapy pool at BGH remains open currently and can do so only until out-patient department developments continue.”