Mayor celebrates NHS 70th birthday in new ‘Bloom and Revive’ stroke garden

mayor cutting ribbon
Mayor celebrates NHS 70th birthday in new ‘Bloom and Revive’ stroke garden
05 July 2018

The Mayor of Bury celebrated 70 years of our beloved NHS at Fairfield General Hospital today at the official opening of a new therapeutic garden for stroke patients.

Councillor Jane Black mingled with staff and patients, talking, drinking a welcome cold drink and eating cake, as the usually tranquil garden was transformed into a party to celebrate the 70th birthday of the National Health Service.

The Mayor, staff, patients and the public all gave generous donations towards the Bloom and Revive garden fund bake sale, which will be used to pay towards the cost of the garden renovation.

The garden is usually an oasis of calm for stroke patients, somewhere quiet where they can concentrate on their rehabilitation with staff, and also spend time with their family and friends.

Staff from the Stoke Services department at Fairfield General Hospital were on hand to tell people all about the benefits of the garden and rehabilitation activities.

The Mayor of Bury, Councillor Jane Black said:

“The garden looks amazing, particularly on a hot sunny day like today. I am sure the patients will love spending time here and I couldn’t think of a better place to recover and catch up with family and friends. Well done to everyone who gave up their time to make this possible and also to those who have given generously towards the cost of the garden.”

Abby Fisher, operational and professional lead for occupational therapy at Fairfield General Hospital said:

“We wanted to create a calm, uplifting space for patients to spend time with their families away from the busy ward environment and the garden acts as an additional therapy area where we can deliver gardening group-work sessions. Speech therapy, physiotherapy and psychology will also use the space to deliver therapy sessions.

“Patients will grow plants, herbs, and vegetables, and they have already painted some of the pots and stones, which look beautiful. Horticultural therapy has proven benefits for stroke patients and aids their physical recovery and improves cognitive deficits by helping patients to focus their attention and plan tasks.”

Fairfield General Hospital’s Stroke Services department has been supported by staff from across the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group, to fundraise and create an uplifting, outdoor area to enhance patient experience at Fairfield General Hospital.

The garden features two large brick built planters with a variety of plants, some to add colour and others that have sensory benefits.

Other features include benches for patients to sit down on, hanging baskets and free-standing pots.

Future plans include installing two work benches, one at a wheelchair accessible height, and one at waist height, for those that are able to stand. Outdoor display cabinets for displaying works of art, poems, and inspirational quotes will also be installed, as well as a mini-greenhouse, a pergola and a pull-out canopy shade.

The Northern Care Alliance NHS Group is made up of two Trusts, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust. The Group operates five hospitals and community services including Salford Royal, The Royal Oldham, Fairfield General in Bury, Rochdale Infirmary, and North Manchester General.