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Orpington hydrotherapy pool under threat

A £650,000 hydrotherapy pool at Orpington Hospital, which Times readers and residents helped raise funds for, will be lost forever if the site is sold off, claim protesters.

The future of the hospital in Sevenoaks Road, is under consideration and health campaigners are convinced it will close.

The pool was completed in 2002 and formally opened in January 2003 after four years of tireless fundraising.

Friends of Orpington Hospital campaigned with the Times and raised £350,000. The trust contributed £300,000.

Secretary of patients’ organisation, Community Care Protection Group, Sue Sulis, said: “Years were spent fundraising hundreds of thousands of pounds with the support of the Bromley Times and led by the Friends of Orpington Hospital.

“It is clear that the trust wishes to sell off the site. It is not only a scandalous waste but will deprive patients with serious conditions of the opportunity for rehabilitation.

“It treats with contempt the hard work of the local people who campaigned to build it.”

Mrs Sulis urged people to write to their MPs and councillors.

Hydrotherapy pools help relax muscles and are mainly used for people with orthopaedic injuries, although they also help neurological conditions as well as people with learning disabilities.

The changes are being led by the Orpington Health Services Project, part of NHS South East London.

Options include keeping the hospital, renting, buying or building somewhere else in the Orpington area or closing it.

A NHS South East London spokesman said: “The Orpington Health Services Project is very aware that people in the community have worked hard to raise funds for the hydrotherapy facility at the hospital. No decisions or recommendations have been made.”

Residents are invited to give opinions at a pre-consultation event on Monday, October 24, at Crofton Halls, Crofton Road, Orpington from 7.30pm to 9pm.

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