August 31, 2021 11.19 am This story is over 27 months old

Paul Matthew: Sanctuary gardens for Lincolnshire hospital patients and staff

Improving spaces around hospitals in Lincolnshire.

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By Director of Finance and Digital at ULHT

As a trust, we are on a mission to make significant improvements over the next five years. This five-year improvement journey will look at everything from patient experience, to our workforce and investments in technology. One of the key areas that will benefit everyone that comes to our hospitals is improving our internal and external spaces. This month we are launching our Gorgeous Gardens campaign.

Being able to create small outdoor sanctuaries will help us to give staff and patients access to the outdoors and the wellbeing benefit you can gain from being in nature. Creating these spaces will allow us to focus on mental as well as physical wellbeing, which is a valuable part of the healing process.

We have identified 34 outdoor spaces and gardens to improve that will make the most difference to staff and patients. The United Lincolnshire Hospitals Charity is investing £300,000 into improving these spaces so that they are accessible, inviting and safe spaces.

There will be gardens that can be used by patients, with gardens for adults as well as children and their loved ones, alongside spaces just for staff to get some respite. We are working closely with a dedicated contractor to start to get these areas in shape and we have long-term plans to ensure they stay that way, be maintained and still look great as the seasons change.

During the pandemic we have been overwhelmed by the support from local communities and welcome those interested in getting involved to please come forward. We know that our hospitals are often a hub of our local communities and we appreciate all of the support we are given and we want to give these spaces back to our staff, patients and visitors. We are also encouraging anyone who may want to get involved with their hospital to come forward – you might want to volunteer time or expertise and we would love to hear from you.

We all hope we will never need to visit hospital, but if we do – we all appreciate a small area of sanctuary where you can have space alone with your thoughts or precious moments with loved ones. We want to work with you to help our gardens blossom and grow.

You can find out more by visiting the website here, or getting in touch with [email protected]

Paul is Director of Finance and Digital at ULHT. He joined the NHS on the national graduate training scheme in 2003. He completed his training in Cambridgeshire before taking up the position of Financial Controller at Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust in Huntingdon. He joined the Trust in January 2018 as Deputy Director of Finance having spent the past six years in the community and social care sector at Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership NHS Trust. Paul is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. Paul became substantive Director of Finance and Digital in November 2019.