Arthritis sufferers who rely on specialist treatment at a Birmingham hospital have criticised plans to close its hydrotherapy pool.
Patients treated by rheumatologists at Selly Oak Hospital, which is run by University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, use the pool, which can accommodate three people at a time, to ease pain and improve mobility.
Stephanie Cotterill, aged 46, of Bartley Green, Birmingham, said she had been told the pool was to close next month and there were currently no plans to replace it.
The former nursery nurse, who was forced to stop working in 2002 due to her condition, said: "How can you penny-pinch on patients' treatment?
Chief executive Mark Britnell yesterday said the pool was still under review but he had written to Ms Cotterill last May stating that although therapists would provide the service, there were other pressing requirements likely to benefit more patients.
A spokeswoman added: "No decision as yet has been made regarding the future of this service and we would wish to make it clear that the pool is presently in use."