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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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Ward garden makeover at John Radcliffe Hospital

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A ward garden at the John Radcliffe Hospital has been transformed into a peaceful place for patients to relax.

The Gynaecology Ward garden, based at the Women's Centre, had the makeover this month.

After many years of not being managed and plants growing out of control, Susie Saeed, Gynaecology Matron at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, decided to do something about it.

Gardeners from Bicester-based Nicholsons took on the project, and work was completed on Tuesday 22 January 2019.

Now, the garden provides a more relaxing and attractive environment for patients and their families, as well as staff.

Susie said: "When I started in post over a year ago it was like a jungle with plants as high as Level 2.

"Our ward is a busy unit covering elective and emergency work, inpatient, day case, and emergency work.

"Some of the patients that come through have to deal with pregnancy loss, early stages of cancer, as well as other difficult gynaecological conditions.

"It was important to me that we had a peaceful place for patients to sit and reflect. Despite our efforts to keep the ward environment as peaceful as possible there are times where this can be difficult.

"Having this space will also be of great benefit for the staff, who work long shifts. They too will be able to enjoy this garden and benefit from some quiet time away from a busy clinical environment."

The League of Friends generously donated £7,500 for the project, while Blanchford Building Supplies in Headington contributed £380 towards garden furniture. A small flower sculpture donated by a patient has also been included.

David Simpson, League of Friends Manager, said: "Our bids committee were excited at the prospect of funding the renovation of the Gynaecology garden.

"Susie and her staff made a very good case for putting the comfort and peace of patients, staff and visitors at a high value and we were delighted to provide the finance and are equally delighted by the results of Tina and her team's work."

Tina James, Landscape Designer at Nicholsons, said: "I was so happy to be asked to help with this garden space for the Trust.

"I wanted to create a soothing green space that can be enjoyed by the hard working staff as well as the patients, somewhere one might catch a moment for quiet reflection or just to sit and enjoy a tranquil green space.

"The planting is deliberately calm and simple so that it is easy to look after, but there is something for all seasons as well as some small trees which I feel always lifts the spirits.

"Gardens are well renowned for enhancing healing - and what better place to offer an enhanced environment can there be?

"We all benefit from spending time in nature and all of us at Nicholsons are very pleased to have had the opportunity to help restore this lovely little space that will grow into a beautiful garden."

Pictured: Nicholsons staff transformed the Gynaecology Ward garden