Hydrotherapy (Pennill Pool)

The Hydrotherapy Pool at RJAH has now started to re-open for NHS patients in line with infection, prevention and control guidance. We continue to review this guidance as we restore the services offered pre-pandemic.

We will announce when we are ready to fully reopen the pool to other classes and groups.

Hydrotherapy is the use of water as the treatment of different conditions, including arthritis, back pain, sports injuries and rehabilitation for spinal cord injuries.

Hydrotherapy differs from swimming because it involves special exercises that you do in a warm-water pool. The water temperature is warmer than a typical swimming pool and the Pennill Pool is a constant 330C or 940F.

What are the benefits?

The therapeutic effects can be:

  • Relief of pain and muscle spasm
  • Maintaining range of movement
  • Increasing range of movement
  • Re-educating muscle groups
  • Increasing circulation
  • Strengthening weak muscles
  • Increasing muscle power/endurance
  • Improving function
  • Improving balance
  • Boosting confidence

How can I access Hydrotherapy?

Hydrotherapy may be suggested as part of your treatment plan by your physiotherapist. Usually a physiotherapist or a physiotherapy support worker with specialist training will show you how to do the exercises. The focus of the exercises can be adjusted to help your range of movement or strength, depending on your symptoms. Usually you will attend six sessions and then you will have a review with a view to progressing your rehabilitation.

Hydrotherapy tends to be different to aquarobics, which can be quite strenuous, as it’s generally more focused on slow, controlled movements and relaxation. Usually you would spend thirty minutes in the pool due to the warm temperatures, twenty minutes for a first time patient.

What do I need to bring with me?

  • Swim suit
  • Towel
  • Any medication required e.g. failure to bring Ventolin GTN spray, would prevent pool session taking place.
  • Change for Car Parking – there is a drop-off point and disabled parking bays outside the pool entrance in addition to the designated patient/visitor car parks.

About the Pennill Pool

The therapeutic swimming pool was opened in 2005 following large amounts of fundraising for the ‘Make a Splash Appeal’ by the League of Friends and staff. It is named after the late Samuel Hughes Pennill of Whitchurch who left a generous legacy which started the appeal.
The pool is used all day everyday by different groups of patients. Staff and appropriate patients are able to purchase tickets to use the pool on certain evenings and weekends when it is not in use by hospital sessions.

Some facts on the pool and its facilities:

  • The pool is seventeen metres long by five metres wide
  • The temperature is a consistent 33oC or 94oF
  • The pool is staffed by qualified life guards trained at Oswestry Leisure Centre and also undertaken site specific training at the Pennill Pool
  • Entering the pool can be done using the shallow steps or gradual sloping path or a hoist e.g. for spinal cord injured patients. Please note that only appropriately trained staff may use the hoist.
  • There are separate male and female communal changing rooms, and four large changing areas which can accommodate wheel chair users. Some of the larger areas have beds and/or chairs to aid with changing.
  • Lockers in all changing areas (no coins required)
  • Hairdryers (no coins required)
  • Toilets and showers in all changing areas.
  • Drinking water cooler to ensure you remain hydrated in the warm temperature.
  • Swim suit spin dryer (removes excess water in 8-10 seconds)

Who uses the pool?

Hydrotherapy is suitable for many of our patients and we currently deliver sessions for patients in the following areas:

  • Rheumatology
  • Intensive inpatient rehabilitation programme
  • Oswestry Pain Management Programme
  • Orthopaedic Paediatrics
  • Outpatients (lower limb, upper limb, neurology, back pain and dynamic exercise for sports injuries)