Rockliff intervenes on hydrotherapy pool lease to get it reopen

It comes after the Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing Jeremy Rockliff intervened in the matter.

Suffering: Hydrotherapy pool users Gillian Walker, Phyllis Targett, Joan Parremore and Kate, and Edgar Huxtable, 7, of Latrobe were disappointed it was closed for weeks and have welcomed the idea of a short-term lease to reopen it. Picture: Scott Gelston

 Suffering: Hydrotherapy pool users Gillian Walker, Phyllis Targett, Joan Parremore and Kate, and Edgar Huxtable, 7, of Latrobe were disappointed it was closed for weeks and have welcomed the idea of a short-term lease to reopen it. Picture: Scott Gelston

The pool is owned by Strathdevon aged care provider Uniting AgeWell and is leased and operated by the THS to provide hydrotherapy treatment.

“I have spoken with the Minister for Health about the hydrotherapy pool and we have agreed that a short-term lease should be pursued by the THS to enable the pool to open while a longer-term solution is investigated,” Mr Rockliff said.

“The THS has made contact with Uniting Age Well about a short-term lease and I hope this will lead to the pool reopening soon.

“I have also had an initial conversation with the Latrobe Mayor as this is an important issue for the local community, about a possible way forward and I will be looking to convene a collaborative discussion with the council, UAW and the THS to ensure we can get a resolution which benefits the community.”

Hydrotherapy patient Gillian Walker has welcomed Mr Rockliff’s intervention.

Mrs Walker said the pool could not reopen soon enough for hundreds of people that use it.

“That’s wonderful news because it’s about quality of life and mobility for a lot of people who are really struggling at the moment and just want to get back in the pool even if they still need to work out a long-term solution,” Mrs Walker said.

“The ongoing problem appears to be they can’t seem to work out who is responsible for the maintenance.

“I would have thought it should be the health department’s responsibility to ensure the pool is accessible to the patients who need it.

“I’m back using sticks I didn’t need to use six weeks ago because I can’t do the exercise I need to do and had to increase the prescription medicine I’m taking.”

Mrs Walker had major back surgery and was using the pool to improve her mobility. She said she had metal rods and 14 pins inserted and needs hydrotherapy to keep her on the move.

There was also the case of seven-year-old Edgar Huxtable who was using the hydrotherapy pool during his recovery from corrective hip surgery. Edgar’s mother Kate told The Advocate the gains he had made thanks to therapy had been lost since the pool was closed.

Mrs Walker said she knew of eight classes a week with 12 people in each class, as well as classes for babies and surgery patients impacted by the hydrotherapy pool’s closure.

“They moved rehabilitation services from Burnie where there is a therapy pool to Latrobe where the pool was closed because they’re arguing over the lease,” Mrs Walker said.

Mr Rockliff said he would take an active interest in the matter as Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing.

“It’s part of my local community as well,” he said.

“What I’m interested in doing is sitting down with all parties and I’m happy to lead that discussion in terms of with the THS, Latrobe Council and UAW to work out a solution and a way forward.

“I recognise that it is an important part of the local community.

“It’s been a longstanding issue but I recognise the value in the community of the hydrotherapy pool and that’s why I am taking an active interest in it.”

[“source=theadvocate”]