University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust (UHP) has recently opened their renovated custom-built ICU outdoor garden. Generous funding from Plymouth Hospitals Charity and NHS Charities Together was matched by the Trust to be able to complete this remarkable project, which will benefit patients during their time in the ICU as well as support the wellbeing of our amazing colleagues.
People will be able to feel fresh air and sun on their faces whilst spending time outside in a non-clinical environment that is fitted with specialist equipment to ensure safe patient-centric care in a safe space. Being able to offer meaningful time in this inclusive and tailored green space is coupled with therapeutic benefits of being outside as well as bringing people together.
Kate Tantam, Specialist ICU Sister was inspired to support the large-scale makeover of the garden after Andrew Heveran, former ICU patient, requested to be wheeled outside in his hospital bed to feel the fresh air whilst surrounded by his family and pets. Back in 2018, his request brought to light that UHP didn’t have a suitable space to take ventilated and very unwell patients outside, nor a private space to do so. The benefits of patients being able to experience fresh, clean air coupled with natural light are undeniable and Kate’s idea to create an outdoors ICU was born from this. She has supported the transformation of the grey courtyard being turned into an area where colleagues can provide the best possible care for patients in a safe and private approach, whilst also allowing a space for colleagues to take some time out themselves. Mark Lane, garden designer and former ICU patient himself has carefully designed the garden to be fully inclusive and accessible with a beautiful nurturing woodland theme throughout.
The bespoke garden room is fitted with power, skylights, piped oxygen and floor to ceiling glass, exposing a walled garden which sees wide smooth paths, benches and raised flower beds full of woodland plants and trees. This calm, green area will provide its visitors the opportunity to reconnect not only with the outdoors, but also their families, loved ones and pets in a private and safe environment outside of a typical hospital setting.
Corinne Bailey, Plymouth Hospitals Charity Manager added: “It has been an absolute privilege to work alongside the Trust, NHS Charities Together, some incredible fundraisers and most importantly Kate Tantam and her team; to be able to fund their vision of what is to be an extraordinary benefit for our patients. This safe, green space will play a restorative and supportive role in our patient’s journeys and create a special place for them to spend time with their loved ones. We look forward to welcoming all to the garden to enjoy this space for its various intended purposes.”