ATACP Guidance on Aquatic Physiotherapy 2021

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Providing a safe and effective aquatic physiotherapy service for patients and those working in the aquatic physiotherapy environment 

Achieved via providing guidance/recommendations on:

  • Developing and maintaining competence in Aquatic Physiotherapy for physiotherapists and other non-qualified staff
  • Organisation and management of an Aquatic Physiotherapy Service


This document has been written to provide guidance to physiotherapy managers, physiotherapists, physiotherapy students and non-physiotherapists working in aquatic physiotherapy settings about providing a safe and effective aquatic physiotherapy service for patients.

Its particular focus is in highlighting the routes physiotherapists might take to develop and maintain their competence to practise physiotherapy in an aquatic physiotherapy setting. It emphasises the support physiotherapy managers might offer, to assist staff members achieve and sustain such competence.

It provides guidance on which patients should not enter the pool environment and additional guidance on particular patient groups who require special considerations within it (e.g. tracheostomy patients). It is hoped this document will provide the necessary advice to ensure the development of a safe and competent workforce, able to organise and manage an aquatic physiotherapy service.