Plug is pulled on hospital pool despite petitions

John Raine is handed a petition by campaigners against the closure of the Borders Gerneral Hospital's therapy pool. From left, Pat Usher, Val Millar, Barbara Huckell, Janet Brown and Ruth Flavin.
John Raine is handed a petition by campaigners against the closure of the Borders Gerneral Hospital's therapy pool. From left, Pat Usher, Val Millar, Barbara Huckell, Janet Brown and Ruth Flavin.
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More than 3,000 signatures on petitions failed to dissuade health bosses from opting to controversially close the

hydrotherapy pool at the BGH.

The decision was taken at NHS Borders’ board meeting on Thursday as part of the BGH outpatient redesign project and development of new approaches for rehabilitation therapies.

NHS Borders said the preferred option came via a formal appraisal exercise which had involved clinical staff, service users and the public. The decision will see water-based therapies available at a range of sites and hydrotherapy provided from a new pool in Jedburgh.

NHS Borders chairman John Raine said it means much-improved patient facilities.

“This will be achieved by investing in the development of a purpose-designed hydrotherapy pool planned by the Jedburgh Leisure Facilities Trust and working with Scottish Borders Sports and Leisure Trust to make public pools more accessible for hydrotherapy patients,” he said.

Mr Raine said the board had taken into account the views of the Borders Patients Action Group (BPAG) which has campaigned to save the BGH pool. BPAG didn’t wish to comment on the decision at this stage, but pointed out that the number of petition signatures indicated the strength of local feeling over the proposed closure of the BGH pool.