Hydrotherapy Outpatient Service

How we can help you

Our physiotherapists use pool exercises to help reduce any pain or problems you may have with your bones and muscles. This might be caused by disease, trauma or overuse. We also support people as they recover from surgery.

We do this by:

  • finding out what the problem is when you come to your first appointment
  • finding out from you your needs and concerns  
  • working with you to come up with a plan of how pool based exercises can help you both in the short and long term
  • providing education.

We offer both one-on-one services as well as group based programs.

Our team includes physiotherapists, allied health assistants and student physiotherapists who will be responsible for your assessment and physiotherapy treatment plan.

Our administration officer can help you with bookings, referral management and telephone enquiries.

Your physiotherapist will work in partnership with your referring doctor. They will contact your doctor if they have any questions. When you finish your treatment plan your GP will receive a discharge summary letter outlining your initial assessment, the treatment plan you completed and the outcomes achieved.

To use this service you need a referral letter from your local general practitioner (GP), hospital specialist or physiotherapist. The referral letter should include your personal details, contact details, the reason for referral, any relevant test results and any other information of significance (such as medical history, medicines). 

The referral may then be mailed to our department or faxed to us. Alternatively you can bring it into our department in person. We will then contact you to arrange an appointment time.

If you need to cancel an appointment please telephone 9382 5900.

Can I chose the day and time I attend the department for my appointments?

We will try to find appointment times that work best for you. Our hours of operation however are 8.00am-4.30pm Monday to Friday. Please be mindful that we only have access to the pool at certain times during the week. We do not offer weekend treatment.

How often will I need to attend the Hydrotherapy Pool?

This will vary depending upon your needs and availability to attend appointments. We generally offer up to 10 individual treatment sessions. Ideally you would attend twice per week for 5 weeks. This can vary. If you have previously attended our service for the same chronic condition you will only be entitled to attend up to 5 review sessions.

How long do the treatment sessions take?

Your initial session will take 30 minutes. Follow up pool sessions generally last for 40 – 45 minutes.

Waiting times depend on your clinical urgency. We attempt to give all urgent cases an appointment at the time the referral is received but it may take up to a week for an appointment to be made. Non urgent cases are generally placed on a waiting list. This period can vary from within a couple of weeks to six months.

Our department is very busy and we try to keep to our appointment times as closely as possible. It is rare that you will have to wait for more than 10 minutes for your appointment. We advise that to minimise stress you arrive for your appointment 10 minutes early. If you are more than 15 minutes late you will lose your appointment.

Please bring to your appointment:

  • Any test/scan results that you have had recently
  • Shorts if it is your legs where treatment is needed
  • A list of any medicines that you are taking
  • Swimsuit or shorts
  • Towel
  • Footwear for around the pool edge/shower/change room (optional)

All patients and staff must shower immediately before entering the pool. At the end of your session we suggest you rinse yourself under the shower but the use of shower gel, soaps and shampoos are not permitted in the showers.

If you are sick on the day of your appointment please contact us and let us know and please stay at home.

At your initial appointment we will talk with you to find out more about your medical history, and your needs and concerns. We will run through a medical checklist to make sure you are safe to use our hydrotherapy pool. We will then conduct a physical examination. You may need to undress for this (if so, a hospital gown will be provided by your therapist). We will then discuss with you what type of physiotherapy would be benefit you. We will offer you a number of appointments to attend the hydrotherapy pool. Your physiotherapist will be present at these appointments. They will explain how to do each exercise that has been included in your physiotherapy plan. Your physiotherapist will also be providing support to other people at the same time. Once you have completed the initial set of appointments your physiotherapist will discuss with you your options moving forward.  

The pool temperature is kept between 33 and 34 degrees celsius. It is important to keep drinking water or other fluids. 

If you have found the pool based exercises beneficial and you are keen to continue with the exercises we do offer self managed sessions in the pool. You will need to be independent with your exercise program as no physiotherapist will be present to help you.

There is a cost to attend, it is $100 for 10 sessions or $80 for 10 sessions if you have a concession healthcare card (eg senior/pension card). Talk to your treating therapist as you near the end of your physiotherapy treatment to see if they recommend that you attend.

Once you have completed your individual treatment program, there is a 12-month wait to be eligible to access a new individual treatment program. 

Can I receive ongoing, indefinite treatment for my problem?

Your physiotherapy treatment plan will be based on current research (best practice). Many conditions are chronic and as such require ongoing management. In these instances during your treatment plan we will identify what you can do for yourself after your treatment program finishes.

Prince of Wales Hospital is a teaching hospital and you may be seen and treated by a physiotherapy student. If this is the case the student will be co-managing your case with a qualified, graduate physiotherapist. Students never undertake any decisions without first talking with their supervising therapist. You do have the right to not be treated by a student. In this case your treatment course will be conducted by the next available physiotherapist. This may not always be immediately possible and may result in a delay to starting your treatment plan.

Please let us know if you need an interpreter. You can contact us telephoning the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 131 450. Tell the operator what language you speak and then ask the interpreter to set up a telephone conversation between you, an interpreter, and the healthcare professional you want to speak with.