Charing Cross Hospital Opens Place in the Sun for Patients

Garden specially designed for people with dementia or recovering from stroke

 

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Charing Cross Hospital is opening a specially designed new garden to mark its 200th anniversary this month.

Funded by Imperial Health Charity, the garden has been created for patients with dementia, as well as those recovering from a stroke or suffering from another neurological condition.

It will provide a much-needed outdoor space for both patients and staff, offering a place for relaxation and recovery.

The garden was officially opened by comedian Mark Thomas, pictured above with nurses from the hospital. He spent several days with the Trustís dementia team while researching his latest stand-up show reflecting on 70 years of the NHS, is supporting the garden as its Patron.

"I was amazed by the close personal care and attentiveness shown by the dementia nurses," he said. "The team here at Charing Cross go above and beyond what is expected of them and they are a credit to the NHS.

"The garden is going to make such a big difference to patients."

During a long stay in hospital, having access to a peaceful outdoor space has been shown to reduce anxiety, improve appetite, help patients sleep better and foster a broader sense of wellbeing.

As well as providing a safe space for quiet reflection, the garden will also be used as an area for mealtime breaks, one-to-one sessions and regular outdoor activities tailored to aid the recovery process.

The design features private quiet spaces, raised beds to enable patients to interact with plants, and garden paths with smooth surfaces suitable for patients who have difficulties with mobility.

Jo James, Lead Nurse for Dementia at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, said: "The garden will benefit so many of our patients. Until now we had nowhere safe and secure for patients to go outside, to feel calm or enjoy sitting in the sun.

"Using hospital gardens has been shown to improve patients’ mental health and wellbeing, so to have our very own garden at Charing Cross will transform the hospital experience for our patients."

Visitors can get a first look at the new garden at Charing Cross' Open Day on Tuesday 30 October, when local people are invited to come along and help celebrate ths hospital's 200th birthday.

Imperial Health Charity is still raising money to enhance and improve the Charing Cross Anniversary Garden for many years to come.

To find out more about the project or to make a donation, visit Imperial Charity Garden Appeal.

Mark Thomas' show, Check-up - Our NHS @70 is on at the Arcola Theatre in Dalston, London E8 until Saturday 3 November.

October 25, 2018