A VITAL hydrotherapy pool which has been under threat of closure is set to remain open, it has been revealed.

Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust announced plans to close the hydrotherapy pool at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in March, 13 years after it was opened by the Queen.

Community campaigners fought to keep the pool open, forcing the hospital's leader to reverse his decision.

Following a six-month review, the hospital's board has announced the pool will remain open for the immediate future, but a new permanent location is yet to be found.

Steve McManus, chief executive, said: “We have, in collaboration with local patient representative groups, Alok Sharma, MP for Reading West and other stakeholders, undertaken a detailed review of alternative options for the provision of hydrotherapy.

"However, at this time no other suitable facility has been identified and therefore the hydrotherapy pool at the Royal Berks will continue to operate for the foreseeable future.

The pool is used by multiple sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson's sufferers, but costs the Trust £60,000.

It also requires £50,000 investment to keep it running.

Hundreds of people signed a petition to keep the Craven Road site from closing and pressure from community groups and Alok Sharma MP made the Trust perform a u-turn.

Reading West MP Alok Sharma added: “I am pleased that the hydrotherapy facility will continue at the Royal Berkshire Hospital or until an acceptable site can be found for its re-provision in the Reading area.

"I am grateful to the campaign group and Steve and his team, for the co-operative way in which we have worked so far.

"We now need to work on a longer term plan to ensure a local hydrotherapy service is available permanently for all patients who need it."