Patients at the Queen’s Medical Centre’s Ear Nose and Throat department will benefit from a new garden area, thanks to funding from Nottingham Hospitals Charity.
Staff at the ENT department came up with the idea of revamping a disused courtyard to create a quiet, calm, accessible space for patients – particularly those who may have received a difficult diagnosis. Staff, patients and other supporters of Nottingham Hospitals Charity then set about raising money for the new garden, which has now been completed and was officially opened this afternoon.
Katherine Behenna, Speech and Language Therapist at the ENT department, and Emlyn Jones, ENT Lead Nurse, were instrumental in taking the project forward.
Katherine said: “It’s fantastic to see our vision for this outdoor space become a reality. The new garden looks wonderful and will have a really positive impact on patients by giving them a quiet space away from the busy clinic area.”
The ENT department sees more than 3,500 patients a year, a small but increasing number of whom will be confirmed to have cancers of the mouth and throat. Cancer clinics run throughout the week, with the multi-disciplinary cancer clinic running every Thursday. Up to 70 patients can be seen at this clinic within 90 minutes, so the garden has created much-needed extra space where patients can sit, wait and digest news.
The charity-funded project cost around £13,000, including garden clearance, soil improvement, building a wheelchair ramp and rail, installing planters, and buying and planting trees, flowers and shrubs.
Darrell Hodkinson, from Hucknall, has been a patient and volunteer at the ENT department for more than eight years.
He attended the opening and said: “For patients to be able to come and sit outside and take their mind off things, it will make a big difference. I think it’s marvellous.”
The space was created with the help of Nottingham City Council’s Parks and Open Spaces Apprentices, who volunteered their time to help in the garden, and gave their support in drawing up and implementing the designs.
Colleen White, Destination Park Team Leader and Parks Apprentice Manager at Nottingham City Council, said: “Our Apprentices thoroughly enjoyed working on this project – it was a great opportunity to give something back whilst developing their skills, and it’s wonderful to see the project through to completion.”
Nigel Gregory, Director of Development at Nottingham Hospitals Charity, said: “We are pleased to have been able to support this project, through generous donations and fundraising efforts from patients, staff and the local community. The new garden will make a real difference to ENT patients and staff by giving them a peaceful space away from the hustle and bustle of the clinical area.
“We’d like to thank everyone for their hard work in making this a reality, whether through coming up with ideas for the garden, raising money, or volunteering their time.”