11 April 2018
Napier’s disabled community got a boost last week following the reinstatement and upgrade of a pool hoist at Napier Health’s hydrotherapy pool.
The hoist was decommissioned in 2012 following a Department of Labour review that determined it was not fit for purpose. A decision was made at that time not to repair the hoist due to low demand. However, local couple Glenn and Fran Marshall later challenged this saying the need was there.
The Marshalls, who were at last week’s reopening, said they were fortunate to link with HBDHB board member Diana Kirton who helped get the ball rolling to upgrade and reinstate disability access to the hydrotherapy pool.
Fairhaven School's specialist therapy team provided professional advice to ensure the hoist was fit for purpose for all disabled persons, not just disabled young persons.
"Reinstating this disability access is more than the physical and mental benefits to Napier disabled persons,” explained Glenn.
“It’s about upholding the mana of our disabled community, and treating them with dignity and respect.”
Glenn said for many, the key benefit was that hydrotherapy sessions could now be increased from once a fortnight, to once a week, because there was no longer competition for space at only one venue (Hastings).
“We are very grateful that the DHB provided equity and we’d like to acknowledged Diana Kirton (Board member), Kaye Lafferty (Patient Safety and Clinical Compliance Manager) and Sharon Mason (Executive Director Provider Services) - these three wonderful ladies have the X-Factor and demonstrated what can be achieved when we work in partnership,” he said.
Fairhaven School principal Diane Whyte said the reopening of the hoist was fantastic news for its school community and the wider disabled community.
“It gives our students safe access to the hydrotherapy pool and allows all of our students who have physical disability to have regular sessions in a therapeutic environment,” said Diane – adding hydrotherapy can be an important part of someone's therapy as it provides a weightless, warm and comfortable place to stretch and work on things that can be impossible on land when battling against gravity
“Having a local facility is so necessary as some students can find it hard to travel any distance – so we will be making use of this facility at least twice weekly,” she said.
Mrs Mason said the DHB was grateful to the Marshalls for raising with it why reinstatement of the pool hoist was so important.
“The demand for disability access to Napier Health’s hydrotherapy pool is clearly there and ensuring that the pool hoist would be suitable not for just young disabled persons, but for all, was key to this upgrade.
“This investment will give ongoing wellbeing benefits to our disabled community and we are thrilled it is back in operation and meets wider needs than before,” she said.