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His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales opens the Lavender Garden

May 6, 2022

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales visited the Royal Bournemouth Hospital to recognise all that NHS staff and patients have been through during the past two years.

During his visit, The Prince of Wales officially opened the hospital’s new Lavender Garden, dedicated to the memory of colleagues who have died and a special area for staff to rest, reflect and recharge.

On his way to the Lavender Garden, Prince Charles walked alongside the hospital’s lake and spoke to members of the trust’s estate team to learn more about the benefits of green spaces to both staff and patients.

He then unveiled a plaque in the new Lavender Garden and met relatives and colleagues of hospital staff who have passed away. The garden is a peaceful oasis for staff and was funded by generous donations to University Hospital Dorset NHS Charity.

The Lavender Garden was originally proposed by the hospital’s theatres team as a space to remember their dear friends and colleagues, Anna and Tom, who they sadly lost to cancer in 2020.

Donna Bailey, surgical first assistant, explained: “Just before Anna died, I gave her a bunch of lavender from my garden, and that’s where the idea for this special space came from. This has since grown into a garden for all staff so we can have a peaceful place to decompress during difficult shifts, to recharge after a long day inside, and to reflect on those we have lost. It’s been wonderful to see the garden celebrated by The Prince of Wales, and for the relatives and generous donors to come together on this very special day.”

HRH was accompanied on his visit by the Vice Lord Lieutenant of Dorset, The Hon Mrs. Charlotte Townshend, the hospital’s acting CEO Paula Shobbrook, and acting Chairman Philip Green.

Professor Shobbrook said: “It has been an honour to welcome HRH The Prince of Wales today and have the opportunity for him to meet some of the dedicated people who go above and beyond every day to care for our patients. It has been a very challenging few years for all of us, and our teams have demonstrated remarkable resilience and compassion during difficult times. I am very proud of all they do, and I’m also grateful to our University Hospitals Dorset NHS Charity for enabling us to place a special focus on staff wellbeing with our new Lavender Garden.”