March 6, 2024 / Western General Hospital (Seminar rm1, Medical Education Centre) or online via teams

Greenspaces for Staff Wellbeing; Green Health Network Event

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Our Green Health network event explored the challenges and opportunities of greenspaces for staff wellbeing.

Dates: Wednesday, 6 March 2024
Time: 12 midday to 1:00 pm
Location: Online and in-person

Amanda's Garden at the Western General Hospital
Amanda’s Garden, Western General Hospital

Event Summary

We were delighted to welcome Emma Martindale, Training and Standards Officer and Social and Therapeutic Horticulture Practitioner at Trellis Scotland.

Emma looked at how Trellis can help green health wellbeing practitioners:

  • Trellis is a charity focused on supporting gardening for therapy and for wellbeing
  • Trellis has an aim of access for all to outdoor wellbeing

Continuing Professional Development

  • Their particular focus is supporting practitioners-at all levels – of those providing gardening therapy and wellbeing environments and activities
  • The core of the Continuing Professional Development offer is ‘learning to teach’
  • Also working to establish a UK Association for Social and Therapeutic Horticulture
  • This will provide a register of practitioners people could apply to be on, a code of conduct, and a supervision framework.
  • Trellis run training both open and for inhouse clients too – for example the Care Inspectorate
  • Trellis has lots of resources on their website of use to green health practitioners – see resources section towards the end of this email.

An objective for NHS Lothian Charity is the Green Health Network helping to bridge gaps between medical and community practitioners, how we develop and share our understanding of green health knowledge and ways of seeing green health benefits.

Greenspace around the Western General Hospital, Edinburgh
Greenspace around the Western General Hospital estate

We also welcomed Iain Cartwright, Arts and Greenspace Project Manager at NHS Lothian Charity who presented on staff wellbeing courtyard designs for Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, Woodlands House/Astley Ainslie and Midlothian Community Hospital.

Iain explained how, when designing or reconfiguring space, it is very useful to consider what routes people actually or naturally try to take through a space when they use it.

He also looked at the challenges and opportunities for staff wellbeing in the NHS estate.

One of the challenges is getting people outside as sometimes staff feel like they do not have enough time to be outside, and somethings there is a concern that being outside looks to patients, service users and fellow staff like someone is slacking off work.

He also asked the group their ideas of the best way to support staff who are not in sites with an immediate greenspace footprint to access greenspace for their wellbeing.

Another challenge is the maintenance of greenspace sites for staff wellbeing and budgets for this.

Wildlife at the Western plaque: Nature is strong and so are we
Wildlife at the Western plaque

Tour of greenspace at the Western General Hospital

After the main presentations were done, those who had attended in person and were able to stay on caught up over a cup of team and then took at tour of the some of the greenspaces around the hospital, talking about how to make best use of them for patients and families, staff and nature.

four people standing talking outdoors
Members of the Green Health Network at the Western General

Resources shared by network members at meeting

Trellis:

Greenspace Scotland:

  • https://whatworkswellbeing.org is the former centrally funded UK ‘What Works’ Centre for Wellbeing, initially based at the University of East Anglia and latterly a third sector body. It has great resources tying together research, policy and practice across wellbeing and is well regarded. Closing end April 2024 – grab material while you can.
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