Building Better Healthcare Awards

BBH Awards - Chemotherapy retreat wins Best External or Landscaping Project title

Published: 8-Nov-2012

St Mary\'s Hospital garden shows what can be done with uninspiring hospital grounds

The Chemotherapy Garden at St Mary’s Hospital on the Isle of Wight has picked up the BBH Award for Best External or Landscaping Project.

It been designed with the purpose of providing patients receiving treatment at the clinic, their friends and relatives and the healthcare staff, somewhere where they can destress, reflect and relax.

The garden occupies a site adjacent to the new chemotherapy suite and was previously a derelict parking lot sandwiched between some low-quality buildings and the main hospital departments.

Transformed by local garden designer, Craig Ratcliff, it is now an oasis of multi-coloured flowers, shrubs, scents and green space, providing horticultural interest in each season.

The south-facing plot enjoys good sunlight and is equipped with an all-weather resin path giving full disability access. There are also three circular brick surfaces for wheelchairs, carved wooden seating, and a table by wood sculptor, Paul Sivell. In addition, the garden boasts handmade glass features by local sculptor, Martin Evans.

It should be an inspiration and challenge to others to better utilise even the most uninspiring areas on hospital sites

The project was funded by public donations and was inspired by the wishes of a St Mary’s ward sister who died from cancer and the experiences and wishes of current patients and the senior chemotherapy nurse.

Within the space there are three separate seating areas, allowing for private conversations. It will be maintained in the future by Ratcliff and volunteers from the local community.

The judges said: “We were impressed at how a derelict parking lot has been transformed into a tranquil space for patients receiving care in the chemotherapy unit and that is was funded by public donations.

”Patients and staff drove the design, which has involved local artists and gardeners. The resulting garden provides a secluded and secure outside space with pathways for wheelchairs and a choice of semi-private seating spaces.

"It should be an inspiration and challenge to others to better utilise even the most uninspiring areas on hospital sites.”

WINNER: Chemotherapy Garden, St Mary’s Hospital, Isle of Wight (Isle of Wight NHS Trust, St Mary’s Hospital, Healing Arts, Craig Ratcliff, Martin Evans, Paul Sivell)

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