Background Hospice patient use of the hydrotherapy pool for aquatic therapy and memory work was minimal due to lack of information, unclear referral processes and no patient pathways for hydrotherapy.
Aims Increase hospice patient use of the pool by introducing clear referral pathways and having a structured Hydrotherapy pool team (Administrator and Lifeguards). For processes to be introduced that enabled individual members of the public with an appropriate need for hydrotherapy to access the pool and for external organisations to only use required spaces.
Methods Processes and access to the hydrotherapy pool by patients and their families, individual members of the public and external organisations were reviewed. Pool user expectations were managed, and changes communicated throughout. The structure and skill mix of the hydrotherapy pool team was reviewed and restructured. Care teams were involved in developing the pathways and referral process. Final versions of pathways were cascaded to teams.
Results Patient referrals for using the pool have increased and benefits are being recorded by the Aquatic Physiotherapist. It is expected that patient numbers will increase further. There is an increase in individual members of the public using the pool appropriately, through referrals from physiotherapists. External organisations are booking required number of spaces and confirming prior to use, thus allowing more patient and family spaces in the pool.
Conclusions Hospice patients and their families are a priority for using the hospice’s hydrotherapy pool. Changes to the hydrotherapy processes and team have enabled appropriate access to the facility and increased use by patients.
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