Patients are now able to relax in a new therapeutic garden at Sidmouth Hospital, thanks to funding from Sidmouth Hospital’s Comforts Funds.
Work began in April 2018 to convert the area from a space that was not easily accessible or beneficial to the recovery of patients, into an area which improves overall wellbeing and allows patients to work on their therapy or rehabilitation goals in the garden before they are discharged. The garden is now easily accessible with a wide range of brightly coloured plants in raised flower beds for patients, staff and visitors to enjoy.
Research has found that outdoor settings, such as therapeutic gardens, provide multiple benefits for patients. These include a calming effect on patients, which can result in decreased blood pressure and lower stress levels.
Mrs Sheila Michelmore, the retired President of Sidmouth Comforts Funds, who officially opened the garden, paid tribute to those who have played a part in the transformation of the area. She stressed the importance of the garden to patients, staff and visitors and closed by saying “may this wonderful garden bring serenity and peacefulness to all who use it for many years to come”.
Lynette Bishop, Occupational Therapist at Sidmouth Community Hospital, explained: “The new garden will be an asset and of great benefit in providing a relaxing space for patients to spend time away from the ward environment. The garden can also be used to enable patients to work on therapy goals in preparation for their discharge from hospital. I am sure that the garden will be utilised and of benefit to these groups.”