A dedicated staff member has raised more than £22,000 to help fund a specialist garden for patients on the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Royal Derby Hospital.
The new garden has been officially opened this week, with the project seeing a courtyard located down the corridor from the unit transformed into a quiet and peaceful space for patients to enjoy while recovering on the ICU, which is situated on the second floor.
In addition to being cleaned and decorated with murals painted on the walls and flowers and statues installed, a panic alarm, accessible ramps and doors have been fitted to make it safe and easy for patients access and go outside.
The space will allow patients to regain their confidence in being away from any medical equipment they’ve become reliant on; aiding their mental rehabilitation, as well as getting them out of the ward and out of their beds to help them to recover physically.
Helen Herring, Sister for ICU at the Royal Derby Hospital, has been fundraising since June 2017 to raise funds for the garden.
She said: “The ICU patient garden has been set up so that we can bring our patients outside in the fresh air, within close proximity of the unit. Prior to this garden, patients had to be taken outside through the main hospital building, so it was a long way for them to go and it could make them feel vulnerable around lots of people.
“Now, the courtyard is just around the corner and patients can see their beds from the garden, which will be much nicer for them. Going outside is a vital part of our patients’ rehab plan and all of our patients that have been out in the garden so far have really enjoyed it.”
Helen and her team have been fundraising for several years to help create the ICU garden, with staff taking part in Derby & Burton Hospital Charity’s Jingle Jog, holding a little shop in the unit’s reception and applying for £5,000 of funding from Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme.
She added: “We’ve been looking to transform this space into a private garden for months and months and really wanted to be able to take our patients out in it. We’ve been fundraising to make it safe and pretty for our patients to want to visit. It’s taken us two years from start to finish to get this project up and running but now we’ve done it and we’re all really proud of ourselves!”
The official opening took place on Tuesday 10 September, with Boutique Florists aiding with the ongoing gardening upkeep, local gardener Mark Smith planting the trees and Vedi Cafe making a selection of cakes for the event.