PICTURED: Alex Summers, Curator, National Botanic Garden of Wales; Dan Rouse, Director of Tadorna Wildlife; Swansea Bay's Des Keighan, Assistant Director of Estates; Darren Griffiths, Director of Finance and Performance; Jessica Powell, Occuaptional Therapist at Cefn Coed Hospital; Ricky Morgan, Assistant Head of Operations at Cefn Coed Hospital; Gareth Evans, Head of Infrastructure Programmes Digital Services; Mark Humphreys, Assistant Technical Service Officer; Martin Draisey, Vaughan Sounds; David Price, ICT Ops Project Manager; Alison Gallagher, Head of Operations at Cefn Coed Hospital; Karren Roberts, Tŷ Olwen Ward Manager; Tracey Rowe, Service Manager of Specialist Palliative Care; Howard Stevens, Technical Service manager and the botanical gardens' Stephen Pearce.
Live nature and wildlife footage is being streamed into two Swansea Bay hospitals to boost the mental health and wellbeing of patients and staff.
Video links from live feeds within the National Botanic Garden of Wales are being beamed into Cefn Coed Hospital and Tŷ Olwen Hospice, based on the grounds of Morriston Hospital.
Hedgehogs, bees and birds are among the animals that are being picked up by 25 cameras based around the gardens in Llanarthne and screened to dementia patients within Cefn Coed’s Derwen Ward and patients who are receiving end of life palliative care in Tŷ Olwen.
The National Botanic Gardens and the health board have partnered to create a ‘Bring Nature into Health Board Buildings’ project.
PICTURED: Cefn Coed staff Kellie Mills, Deborah Morgan, Jessey Cannings and Tracey Clarke with patient Roderick Brown in front of the hospital's live stream from the National Botanic Garden of Wales.
The project aims to help improve moods and reduce boredom by bringing nature directly into the lives of patients whose days are mainly spent indoors.
Deborah Morgan, Derwen Ward Manager, said: “This will benefit both staff and patients. Since the Covid pandemic, patients and staff have become more interested in gardening and wildlife. We also watch wildlife documentaries on the ward through different television channels and the patients really enjoy this.
“It isn't until you start talking about wildlife and gardening that you realise how many people actually have a great interest and either know a little or want to learn more.
“Some patients find it difficult to sleep at night, so we are hoping it will be a soothing distraction to aide sleep.
“It is a great distraction technique and also boosts the mental wellbeing of everyone that watches it.”
The project initially proposed a three-camera operation, but that has increased to 25 thanks to a collaboration between Biophilic Wales - a project led by the National Botanic Garden of Wales – and not-for-profit nature specialists Tadorna Wildlife.
Cameras are placed in specific locations around the gardens where patients can watch a range of species on a daily basis.
PICTURED: Volunteer Chinch Gryniewicz with Tŷ Olwen staff Melissa Phillips, Diane Isaac and Angharad Griffiths.
Karren Roberts, Tŷ Olwen Ward Manager, said: “Research has proven time and time again that access to nature uplifts people's moods, reduces negative emotions and helps alleviate the kind of boredom associated with patients being isolated indoors.
“We are particularly excited by the additional benefits of this immersive experience of providing access to nature for patients within Tŷ Olwen.
“Video links with nature and wildlife will help staff to boost the wellbeing of people who cannot readily access nature or green space - especially those in long-term care.”
Darren Griffiths, Director of Finance and Performance, said: “This is a fantastic example of how we can work in partnership with other outstanding organisations to bring innovative ideas into our hospitals for the benefit of patients and staff.
PICTURED: Darren Griffiths, Des Keighan, Alex Summers, Stephen Pearce, Mark Humphreys and Howard Stevens inside the iconic gardens.
“The commitment and enthusiasm of the teams involved in the project, which is part of our wider green ambition, has been exemplary and we are excited to be developing further plans to extend the reach and significant positive impact of this partnership within the health board.”
Alex Summers, Curator of National Botanic Garden of Wales, said: “The ability to see and hear nature brings massive benefits to patients and staff.
“One of our core principles this year has been to deliver live footage of nature into Cefn Coed Hospital and Tŷ Olwen, so we’re delighted that it is now being enjoyed by everyone who watches the live TV feeds."
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