New Stars Appeal Tranquil and Therapy Gardens Launched

Salisbury District Hospital’s Charity, the Stars Appeal, held a special event to launch two new gardens that will open at the Hospital this summer, thanks to the generosity of local people and organisations.

Located next to one another on Level 2 of the main hospital building, one garden will be used to provide therapy to older and stroke patients, and will be known as ‘The Stars Appeal Therapy Garden’. The other, which will be known as ‘Rod’s Place’, in tribute to Rod Lennox-Gordon, a nurse on Farley Stroke Unit who died last year, will provide a tranquil space for relatives and patients.

The idea for the gardens came from the Hospital’s Lead End of Life Care Nurse Hannah McClean, who is playing a leading role in the project and raising the £16,000 required to fund the gardens along with the ongoing funds needed to maintain them.

Hannah said: “There is a growing need for families of extremely sick patients to have an area away from the bedside that can be used as a space to sit quietly and reflect. We also want a place close enough to the main hospital to make it accessible to patients on the hospital’s wards who often have little or no access to the outside world during their hospital stay. Just as important is the need for staff to have supportive areas to take time out away from their work environment and the pressures of their work. The new gardens will provide all of this along with a specially designed and safe space where the Hospital’s therapy teams can work with patients undergoing physical rehabilitation as well as those living with dementia. I’d like to thank everyone who is supporting this project and making these important new gardens possible.”

The gardens are being created by adapting land on Level 2 of the Hospital, close to the Farley Stroke Unit, Spire Ward and the current Springs Entrance. Rod’s Place will be accessible to all patients, families, staff and visitors and will be led by the Hospital’s End of Life Care Team. Accessible to beds and wheelchairs, this garden will be a quiet area for reflection and contemplation. It will provide a peaceful space where people can rest a moment away from the hustle and bustle of the working hospital but remain close to the acute wards and departments. Rod’s Place will enable even the most unwell patients, including those in their last days of life or those recovering on Radnor Intensive Care Unit to have the opportunity to go outside to a quiet and appropriate environment.

The Stars Appeal Therapy Garden will provide therapy and rehabilitation led by therapists and nurses specialising in stroke and dementia care. The garden will be specifically designed with level flooring and wheelchair access to be safe and secure and to promote mobility and activity. Therapy teams throughout the Hospital will be able to use the Stars Appeal Therapy Garden daily for structured exercises which will include gardening activities adapted for patients with disabilities.

The Stars Appeal is Salisbury District Hospital’s charity. Each year, projects funded by the charity help thousands of local people at Salisbury District Hospital to get better faster, return home sooner and have a more positive hospital experience. The Stars Appeal is aiming to raise £1million this year to fund projects, including these gardens, which offer direct, practical support to patients and their families, over and above what the NHS provides. These include cancer support, help for older and dementia patients, a child friendly children’s ward and parents’ accommodation, improving the experience for end of life patients and their loved ones, Hospital Chaplains, free Wi-Fi and advanced equipment in key areas such as cancer surgery, cardiac care and the Neonatal Unit as well as enhancing the patient environment across the Hospital.

Lord Pembroke, President of the Stars Appeal said: “We are delighted to be working with the Hospital’s End of Life Care team to create these beautiful gardens that will provide peaceful, therapeutic spaces in the heart of our Hospital for thousands of local people in times of need. This is just one of the many life changing projects we are looking to fund this year and I would like to thank everyone who supports the charity for making important new facilities, like these inspiring gardens, possible.”

The launch event was attended by dementia campaigner Tommy Whitelaw who earlier in the day gave a series of inspirational talks to hospital staff about his experience of caring for his mother who had vascular dementia and the many other carers he met through this journey.

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