Aimed at supporting the rehabilitation of patients who are receiving care from Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust, the Lotus Rehabilitation Garden officially opened last week.

Designed with the support of patients and staff who recognise the value of accessing fresh air close to where they are being treated, the garden will offer a place to rest, recover and rehabilitate.

Trevor Jacobs, who has been an inpatient at QA Hospital for over a year, said the garden is already proving popular with patients.

As part of the official opening, Trevor who was accompanied by his wife Mary shared a poem that he had written about the incredible care he has received and the impact the garden will have by bringing patients together. He added, “This facility is just amazing, and it feels so good to sit out here. I cannot thank the team enough for the help and support they have given me and my family.”

Using green spaces to support the health and wellbeing of staff, patients and visitors isn’t new to the QA Hospital site with a number of gardens already open including Sarah’s Garden for patients receiving radiotherapy and chemotherapy, as well as the Garden for Life which is open to all.

However, what makes the Lotus Rehabilitation Garden special is that it has been designed to incorporate different surfaces and inclines including steps, ramps, and rails to support patients receiving therapy outdoors in an area that feels calm and relaxing rather than clinical. There are plenty of places to sit down, as well as accessible flower beds at a variety of heights to support patients interested in growing plants. There’s even a greenhouse for when the weather turns.

Mike Homer-Ward, Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine, said, “When you come into hospital you expect to be seen and treated quickly before returning home, however for many of our patients requiring rehabilitation this isn’t always possible. We try hard to normalise life for our long-term patients and having access to a garden is an important part of that for their physical and mental wellbeing.”

Mike, who has been a consultant for over 20 years, thanked everyone who has been involved with the garden and added, “This garden is a credit to our current and future patients. The way it can be used not only for therapy, but to simply get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air, is fantastic.”

To mark the opening of the garden, a plaque was unveiled by Penny Emerit, Chief Executive; and Melloney Poole, Chair, who both thanked the generous contributions by local companies that supported the garden as well as the teams who came together to make it a reality.

Penny recognised the impact the unique space will have and said, “This garden is a fantastic example of where our teams have really thought about what makes a difference to the lives of our patients, their families, and our staff. We have invested in garden space across our sites, but this garden feels special in that it provides so much more than just an area to rest and relax in.”

The Lotus Rehabilitation Garden is open to patients and visitors on ward D10 and includes a sheltered area so it can be used all year round.