Pooling our resources

How are we to equate the possibility of improving our mental health and outpatient facilities at Borders General Hospital with the loss of an excellent and unique physiotherapy department? – it just doesn’t make sense.

Yes, it is laudable and very necessary to desire an improvement in care for the mentally unwell in our community, but definitely not at the expense of the hydrotherapy pool or gymnasium.

I worked at the BGH as a physiotherapist for 16 years when the pool was always a hive of activity and so beneficial for a vast array of conditions and age groups.

This facility cannot be compared to any other form of physiotherapy – where else can you exercise without gravity playing a part? – and this was reflected in the excellent results.

To include the pool and gymnasium in the planning stage of the BGH showed great foresight and presented the community with modern and progressive physiotherapy facilities, and we must not lose them.

Pat Usher

Elm Row


The plan to reduce the physiotherapy service by taking away the hydrotherapy pool and reducing the size of the current gymnasium at Borders General Hospital disgusts me.

My late mother had a bad stroke in 1991 and was in Ward 11 for eight months. She was looked after so well.

They tried everything in their power to make mum walk again. Part of her treatment was her twice-weekly sessions in the pool, plus exercises every day.

When mum arrived at the BGH, the doctor gave her 18 months, but she lived for eight years, and that was down to the hard-working team, plus her twice-weekly sessions in the pool.

She never did walk again – the damage was in her knee – but it was not for the lack of trying by the team. She spent her last years at Hay Lodge Hospital.

It would be terrible if the powers-that-be closed the pool. Maybe some day they might need it – a stroke can strike anytime.

The people who work in the physiotherapy department are wonderful – they never give up, they will try anything to improve someone’s quality of life.

J. Barrand