Health chief admits error over Jed pool

Row over the relocation of the BGH therapy pool .Len Wyse, chair of the jedburgh leisure facilities trust outsie the Laidlaw Memorial  Pool .
Row over the relocation of the BGH therapy pool .Len Wyse, chair of the jedburgh leisure facilities trust outsie the Laidlaw Memorial Pool .

Borders health chiefs jumped the gun in issuing a statement that gave the impression a new hydrotherapy pool at Jedburgh was a done deal.

Last week The Southern reported the decision by NHS Borders to controversially close the hydrotherapy pool at the BGH.

NHS Borders board chairman John Raine said alternative provision for hydrotherapy would include “... investing in the development of a purpose-designed hydrotherapy pool planned by the Jedburgh Leisure Facilities Trust.”

But those involved with the trust say this is far from the truth and has given people a false impression of the situation.

Trust chairman Len Wyse said that, while the possibility of a hydrotherapy pool at Jedburgh had been raised in talks with NHS Borders, nothing is yet decided.

And he added that Monday night’s trust meeting had seen agreement that NHS Borders should be requested to issue a public clarification of the situation.

“We are still looking into it but are a long way off making a decision,” said Mr Wyse on the possibility of such a facility being located in the town.

“Despite what was in the report that went to the NHS Borders board, we have not got outline planning permission and have never applied for it.”

And NHS Borders chief executive Calum Campbell this week admitted that information presented to the NHS board meeting, stating the Jedburgh trust had obtained outline planning consent, was incorrect.

“This was a mistake on our part and I apologise for this,” Mr Campbell said.

“In reaching its decision about developing improved ways of delivering water-based therapies, the board recognises that planning permission for the new facility at the Jedburgh Laidlaw Memorial Pool has not been granted.”

However, Mr Campbell says the health authority is “very encouraged” the leisure trust has confirmed the feasibility process for a teaching and hydrotherapy pool at Jedburgh will continue.