Anger at Grimsby and Scunthorpe hydro pools closure

Diana Princess of Wales Hospital sign
Image caption The trust has started a public consultation

A group of people with a chronic form of arthritis says the closure of hydrotherapy pools at two hospitals could damage their health.

Grimsby Ankylosing Spondylitis group uses pools at both the Diana Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby and Scunthorpe General Hospital.

Members of the group said using the pools relieved the condition.

The hospital trust said money could be spent on alternative treatment, and a public consultation had been started.

Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is a type of chronic arthritis that affects parts of the spine, including the bones, muscles and ligaments.

The pools are used by a variety of patients including those with AS, to help ease stiffness and pain.

Geoff Steele, who has the condition, said he believed the hydrotherapy pool had saved his life.

He said when he was diagnosed with AS he was left "totally immobile, unable to make the simplest of movement and in terrible pain".

'Pool must stay'

He received treatment through a hydrotherapy pool which he said "brought his body back to a level that I could manage".

Mr Steele added: "With the help of our local AS group and their hydrotherapy pool I feel secure for my future health. The pool must stay."

Frank Coleman said regular exercise in the pool had improved his quality of life and enabled him to be more active at home and at work.

In a statement, Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: "We understand the concerns from users of the service.

"However we have taken a view from our own staff who feel, on the whole, that any money spent would be better spent on other existing alternative forms of treatment rather than hydrotherapy."

The trust said investment was needed to bring the ageing Grimsby pool up to modern standards and the trust was not receiving enough money to cover the cost of running the pools.

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