A new hoist has been funded at Bristol Children’s Hospital, enabling severely disabled children to access the hydrotherapy pool. This means they are able to benefit from the activities and health improvements that come from the specific rehabilitation offered by a pool. 

Jayden using the new hoistThe total cost of the hoist, including installation, was £9,800, which has generously been fully funded by a local foundation.

Using the hoist

The specialist team provide approximately 200 sessions. Hydrotherapy is the most appropriate rehabilitation treatment for these patients and enables them to achieve goals which on land would be impossible or detrimental to staff to try. 

Without the hoist, it would be impossible for these patients to access the pool. The children who are supported at by the therapy team have a range of conditions, including cerebral palsy, osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease), cancer and those who have experienced a severe head injury. All have severely restricted mobility, are often in a wheelchair and are often in constant pain.

One of these patients is Jayden (pictured). Following his first experience with the new hoist, Jayden said: “I love it! It made me feel like someone was really hugging me.”

The hoist allows staff to lift the child into the pool safely and comfortably. This avoids any discomfort and then they can gradually start to move them in the water which is warm and relaxing.  The hoist transfers are always safe and secure for children who cannot assist with the transfer and can be unpredictable with their movement spasms.

The new hoist will replace the existing one which is now 18 years old. The technology has improved significantly in recent years, and the new design is not only far more comfortable for the patients, safer for the staffJayden enjoys using the hoist operating it, but the new reach of the structure itself will mean patients will now be able to access the whole of the pool, rather than just a limited area.

Staff feedback

Rebecca Muir, a Senior Paediatric Occupational Therapist at the hospital, said: “Hydrotherapy is a hugely beneficial therapy for so many of the children we work with. Therapy sessions in the pool make use of the natural buoyancy, heat and resistance of the water to help children progress with movement, strength, stamina and independence. Most importantly, it’s fun & is often their favourite type of therapy!

“The new hoist means that hydrotherapy is now accessible for all of our patients. It has been great to get children into the pool who are not able to transfer in and out themselves, using the fabulous ceiling track hoist that was very kindly funded by Above & Beyond.”


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