New Garden Brings Fresh Air to Intensive Care

A garden area has been redesigned at Forth Valley Royal Hospital to provide a peaceful haven for staff and patients.

The courtyard garden, located on the ground floor of the Women and Children’s Unit, provides a pleasant and calming space for staff from the Unit and ICU to use during breaks as well as a private area for patients from ICU to spend time outdoors in the fresh air to support their recovery and wellbeing.

New paving has been laid to enable patients to be taken outside in wheelchairs or beds and electric sockets have been installed so that ventilators can be charged, if required. Four raised beds have been installed to grow flowers, vegetables, fruit and herbs along with wind spinners to create movement and ensure there is always something to look at.

A gazebo has also been installed to provide protection from the rain and sun along with a variety of outside tables, chairs and benches.

Funded by an NHS Charities Together Covid-19 recovery grant, the ‘Grow and Recover’ garden project was developed with the support of staff from NHS Forth Valley’s Public Health Nutrition Team who worked in partnership with colleagues from the Women and Children’s and Intensive Care Units to develop a space for growing and relaxation.

Alison McBride, NHS Forth Valley’s Head of Midwifery and Department Manager, said: “Prior to the project, the courtyard area was underused and unappealing, however, staff, patients and visitors came together at monthly drop-in sessions to share their ideas of what they would like to see in the space.

“The feedback from local staff and patients has been fantastic and many say they feel much calmer sitting in the courtyard area now as they find the colours and sounds very relaxing.”

Susan Buchanan, Senior Charge Nurse in the Intensive Care Unit at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, said: “We wanted an area that we could take some of our longer-term patients to as being out of the Unit is a valuable part of their recovery and wellbeing. The staff also wanted a space where they could relax on a break and enjoy some peace and quiet and fresh air.”