Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Please help to save the Royal Berkshire Hospital Hydrotherapy Pool

A message from our patron Martin Salter:

Dear Colleague

I'm sure you've all heard the awful news about the proposed closure of the hydrotherapy pool at the Royal Berks Hospital. 


Back in 1998 I campaigned with Arthritis Matters, the MS Society and many others to ensure that the new consolidated hospital on the RBH site contained a hydrotherapy facility. We had a pool at Battle Hospital - originally paid for by Friends of Reading Hospitals - but unfortunately no provision for hydrotherapy was made in the relocation plans. We were eventually successful and I was delighted to attend the opening of the brand new pool in 2005. 

As you know hydrotherapy is an invaluable treatment for those suffering from chronic pain conditions and despite what is being claimed the pool is well used and costs very little in terms of subsidy. The letter from Dr Janet Lippett, Care Group Director at the RBH, confirms this as they acknowledge an income of £49,000 against running costs of £60,000. And given that hydrotherapy prevents many patients from having to attend hospital it is clear that closure of the pool would more than likely end up costing the NHS far more than the current administration are looking to save. With a rising elderly population the demand for hydrotherapy is only going to grow which is why it is so short sighted to be suggesting any form of closure.  

I've agreed to come out of retirement to support the campaign to keep the hydrotherapy pool open and have been in touch with my successor Alok Sharma MP who is happy to take up the issue on behalf of us all. Alok is seeking a meeting with the hospital management in the next couple of weeks and is prepared to take a small delegation from the various user groups with him. This is clearly very helpful but Alok needs lots of letters and emails to present to the hospital management backing up our case. So I've agreed to help coordinate this activity which is why I'm writing to you today. 

What needs to happen next

We would everybody to write or email Mary Sherry, Acting Chief Executive and Graham Simm, Chairman of the Royal Berkshire NHS Trust with a copy to Alok Sharma MP

CONTACT DETAILS:



POINTS TO MAKE:

Attached is an excellent letter from the MS Society which makes several important points which you might want to use. However, here a few bullet points that might be helpful to include in your correspondence. 

* I am / my friend or family member / is a sufferer of Arthritis / Multiple Sclerosis /  Fibromyalgia  / Parkinson's / Chronic Back Pain / INSERT OTHER CONDITION and a regular user of the Hydrotherapy Pool at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

* Hydrotherapy has proved invaluable for me in dealing with my chronic condition and not only brings relief from pain but prevents me from relapsing and having to become reliant on other more expensive NHS services. 

* There is no other public hydrotherapy pool within 30 miles of Reading and should the RBH pool close I will experience even greater levels of pain and my condition could well deteriorate still further. 

* The pool is well used by in patients during the day and by the various charities and groups in the evening including MS Society, Arthritis Care, Fibromyalgia Support Group, Parkinson's Society and others. These groups contribute a substantial sum towards the running costs of the pool. 

* Many of us also pay for our own physiotherapists to work with us in the evenings at the pool. These physiotherapists firmly believe that hydrotherapy is essential in the treatment of conditions such as mine.

* I must ask you to reconsider the decision to close the hydrotherapy pool and to provide me with a full assessment of the impact on patient care, the likely increase in demand on other hospital services and to tell me where else I would be able to receive affordable hydrotherapy treatment which is vital for both my condition and for providing me with some relief from chronic pain?

* Furthermore I must insist that this matter is bought before the Council of Governors at the RBH so that all aspects can be properly and transparently examined. 

* I am sending a copy of this correspondence to Alok Sharma MP 

There a number of potentially supportive Governors at the RBH who you might also like to contact or to copy into your correspondence. The ones that I know include the following but I'm sure there are others. 


The full governors list can be found here: http://www.royalberkshire.nhs.uk/meet-your-governors.htm

There may be other points you wish to make so do include anything you think would be helpful but please get writing today and let's build a strong campaign to get this unacceptable decision reversed. Please circulate this information to as many people as possible.

We will be in touch again soon to advise you of further initiatives and a possible press photo call. 

Best Wishes
Martin

Martin Salter

Former MP for Reading West and Patron of Berkshire MS Therapy Centre. 

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Collectors needed for Wokingham Street Collection, Thursday 8th December

Help!! Please can anyone help us by collecting at Wokingham Street Collection on Thursday 8th December? If so please can you call Kirsten or Tracy on 0118 9016000 or email kirsten@bmstc.org
or tracy@bmstc.org  Many thanks for your help in advance!

Thank you to all the BMSTC Merry Santas!


Congratulations to everyone who took part in the Roc Search Reading Charity Santa Run  especially the BMSTC Merry Santas! 

Christmas is definitely on its way!

Monday, 5 December 2016

Christmas closing dates

We will be closing the Centre for Christmas on Friday 23rd December at 1.30pm and will reopen at 9am on Tuesday 3rd January.

There will be a limited volunteer led oxygen therapy service in between these dates.

Wednesday 28th December, 4.00pm 16.5' & 6.00pm 33'

Saturday 31st December 10.00am, 33' & 12.00 noon 33'

Please ask at reception or call 0118 9016000 for more information and take an information sheet with further contact details.

Royal Berkshire Hydrotherapy Pool set for closure

Source Reading Chronicle:

UPDATE: Sign a campaign to help save the Hydrotherapy Pool here!

A THERAPEUTIC hospital swimming pool used by multiple sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson's sufferers is to be closed down early next year.

On March 31 the hydrotherapy pool at Royal Berkshire Hospital (RBH) will stop operating, shutting out the hundreds of out-patients who rely on its facilities for low-stress, pain-preventing exercise.  Read on.

Fatigue in MS and what to do about it.

Interesting article from MS Nurse, Miranda.

(Note -   BMSTC offers APS Therapy, Oxygen Therapy and a range of exercise classes such as Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi and Physio which can help manage fatigue.)

"Fatigue – that horrible overwhelming inability to do another thing, sometimes even to think straight, is one of the most disabling invisible problems of MS. When I took a poll of the top symptoms that people wanted to troubleshoot in a holistic way, Fatigue was top. So here goes:"  Read on.

A great example of a supporting employer

Source MS Society:

"They were so supportive. I took a few days off to digest the news and they told me to come back to work when I was ready. The first thing they did was assure me that my job was safe." We spoke to Chris about MS and the value of having a supportive employer:  Read on