Animals get more help than my son does on NHS; MUM BLASTS LACK OF HYDRO POOLS FOR 8-YR-OLD WITH MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY.
Byline: TOM DAVIDSON Daily Post Reporter email@example.com
A MUM whose son has muscular dystrophy has slammed the lack of pain-reducing hydrotherapy pools in Wales - with more currently available for animals than people. Sabrina Jones says the pools can work wonders for eight-year-old Carson's muscle wasting condition, but there are just seven accessible to the 3,500 sufferers in Wales - compared to 13 for animals Physiotherapy in warm water is one of the few treatments to help people with the progressive conditions, strengthening muscles, easing pain and delaying the loss of physical abilities.
But a report by Muscular Dystrophy UK has revealed how poorly equipped the country is to provide hydrotherapy.
Sabrina, of Rhyl, said: "Hydrotherapy does so much for Carson. It relaxes his muscles, stops him getting painful cramps and helps him sleep. It's great exercise, as he is able to do things he isn't able to do outside of the water.
"Carson's now using a wheelchair, which has been really tough for him to cope with. Being able to move freely in the pool has been good for him emotionally too."
She added: "Carson was having regular hydrotherapy at the pool in our local hospital, but then last year that was just shutdown, covered over and turned into a waiting room.
"Now the nearest pool is a 30-minute drive away at Colwyn Bay, and we don't always have access to it.
"We ended up fundraising ourselves and buying an inflatable hot tub. It's not the same as hydrotherapy, but it's better than nothing. "I know we are not the only ones in this situation, and that lots of other families are missing out on something that could really help."
Muscular Dystrophy UK has called on Assembly Members to press for the Welsh Government and health boards to launch a review into the provision of hydrotherapy services.
It has warned that many receive just a few weeks' treatment, are denied it entirely or are even incorrectly told by health professionals that it cannot help them.
Nic Bungay, director of campaigns, care and information for Muscular Dystrophy UK, said: "It's shocking there is better hydrotherapy provision for animals than for people with muscle-wasting conditions.
"There are currently no cures, so managing symptoms is crucial to quality, and in many cases, length of life. We are repeatedly told by both people living with the conditions and expert health professionals about the difference hydrotherapy makes. Yet lack of recognition and investment by the NHS, along with poor access to suitable pools, means that many are being denied its benefits."
Hydrotherapy works wonders |for Carson, but there are more pools for animals than for muscular dystrophy sufferers in Wales