It’s a gardeners’ world in Gorseinon as patients turn to flower power

Elderly patients are picking up their trowels and planting flowers in Gorseinon Hospital to benefit their wellbeing and recovery.

A redevelopment of the hospital’s courtyard is giving elderly patients an opportunity to get outdoors and help maintain the garden following its makeover last summer.

PICTURED: Patient Velma Thomas and Health Care Support Worker, Donna Barnard.
The courtyard has raised beds which allows suitable patients to easily maintain them and ensure the garden is blooming.
As well as keeping patients active and reducing their time spent on wards, gardening benefits them in terms of mental and physical stimulation.

Julie Date is one of the patients who has participated in weeding and planting new bulbs.

She said: “I love coming out to the garden and helping out. It’s a nice opportunity to get outside, have some fresh air and feel the sunshine.

“I have been keen on gardening in the past, so this is a nice thing for me to do. I like to be outdoors rather than on a ward, so it’s an opportunity for me to be outside and enjoying everything that the garden possesses.”

The benefits of patients partaking in gardening also extend to staff, who have a dedicated undercover area – called the Cwtch – to take their lunch break.

PICTURED: Christine Pettifer, site manager; Debra McNeil, hospital matron; Gillian Dunn, Unit Manager, and occupational therapist Laura Button-Jones.

Christine Pettifer, site manager at Gorseinon Hospital, said: “We are fortunate to have a lovely garden that our patients can use. Whether it’s to come out and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine or to get involved in planting some summer flowers, it has certainly benefited them in terms of their wellbeing.

“It’s part of aiding their recovery in a different way too, while for our staff it gives them a chance to come away from a clinical setting and enjoy the garden themselves.

“It also gives everyone involved a sense of achievement and pride in maintaining our garden as it’s there for all to enjoy.”

PICTURED: Patients Julie Date (left) and Helen Rees have been helping maintain the garden.

Debra McNeil, hospital matron, added: “The garden can be used to help our patients in staff in a number of ways.

“It’s a great way to take the patient away from the ward and give them something stimulating to do. It’s important that if a patient is able to get up and go outside then they do it, because it can give them a big lift mentally.

“We have a few keen gardeners amongst our patients, so they are delighted when the sun is shining and they have a chance to do some gardening.

PICTURED: Christine Pettifer, site manager; Debra McNeil, hospital matron; Gillian Dunn, Unit Manager, and occupational therapist Laura Button-Jones.

“Patients are always accompanied into the courtyard and the level of gardening they want to do is down to them.

“They have done such a good job in maintaining the garden it’s a lovely setting for patients and staff to take in the sounds of the birds, rest and reset.”


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