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Plants and peace give patients perfect setting in hospital's secret garden

Image shows a woman sat behind a flower bed

Elderly patients are proving to be busy bees by making the most of the plants and peace in a ‘secret garden’ at Gorseinon Hospital.

A redevelopment of the hospital’s courtyard, which until now has been under-used, has opened up a perfect space for patients and staff to move out of a ward setting and rest and recharge.

Image shows three women sitting on garden furniture Patients have been planting bulbs and cultivating raised flower beds as part of their rehabilitation and to boost their wellbeing.

It also gives them the opportunity to take in the sights and sounds of nature and enjoy the fresh air.

PICTURED: (from left) Reablement assistant Sam Owens; Christine Pettifer, site manager and healthcare support worker Harriet Beynon-Cobb.

Christine Pettifer, site manager at Gorseinon Hospital, said: “The opportunity of patients getting involved in looking after the flowers has proved very successful.

“It gives them something extra to look forward to and a sense of responsibility, which is stimulating.

“That boosts their wellbeing and general mood, while at the same time they are out in the sunshine enjoying the good weather.

“As the courtyard is cordoned off from general view, it’s very peaceful and quiet – it’s perfect for our patients and staff.

“A patient told me that it is like a secret garden, which is a perfect way of putting it.”

While patients are benefiting from the courtyard development, staff are also making the most of it.

Image shows a woman sat behind a flower bed A dedicated undercover area called the Cwtch gives staff a tranquil place to take their lunch break.

PICTURED: Margaret Kirkhouse takes some time out to enjoy the peace and quiet of the hospital's garden.

Christine added: “While it’s fantastic that our patients have a beautiful garden to recuperate in, it’s very important that our staff benefit from it too as they are the ones looking after the patients.

“That’s why the Cwtch was built as it gives them a chance to eat their lunch, chat to a colleague, or have a rest in a different environment to the canteen.

“Staff can get outside and spend their lunch break in the sun with the sounds of the birds and bees, and that is great for their morale and mind set because it’s a demanding job.”

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