Thursday 21 July 2022
A courtyard at Poole Hospital has been transformed into a modern green space for staff, patients and visitors to enjoy as part of University Hospitals Dorset’s sustainability strategy. The new ‘Dolphin Garden’ was funded by University Hospitals Dorset NHS Charity with donations received during the Covid-19 pandemic.
July 2022 marks a year since UHD set out its holistic ‘Green Plan’, with ambitious net zero carbon targets among other measures. As part of this, an area outside the Dolphin Restaurant at Poole Hospital was identified as a space which could serve as a much needed space for staff to have a break while also helping the trust meet other Green Plan objectives.
Stuart Lane, Sustainability and Carbon Manager at University Hospitals Dorset said “This project builds upon the Trust’s biodiversity and greenspace efforts, creating new micro habitats including a bug hotel. Specially selected plants also help to improve air quality by removing pollution. The project avoided high embodied carbon choices where possible via the use of natural materials and recycling. The old patio slabs were re-conditioned and reset and much needed wind breaks have been created with wooden batten fencing and shrubs. As with other works, we have been mindful to employ local suppliers. New sustainable outdoor furniture manufactured in Poole and made from recycled bottle tops has been provided, including the addition of two wheelchair accessible picnic tables. The old furniture will be repurposed in other outdoor spaces at the hospital.”
During the pandemic the charity received many generous donations from the Dorset community to support both staff and patients at the hospitals. These, along with grants from NHS Charities Together, were used to provide immediate supports for our staff including food and hydration, temporary wellbeing areas and safe spaces and communication supports. Some of the funds were also ring fenced to provide longer lasting facilities to improve staff areas across the hospital sites.
As well as physical resources, a large proportion of the funds have been used on providing longer term wellbeing supports including counselling and access to health specialists including psychologists, wellbeing practitioners and physiotherapists. Long Covid rehabilitation programmes have also been funded for the many staff affected.
Further works are planned at the Trust’s new offsite working facility at Yeomans way, where staff have been relocated while building works are on-going at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital. Across the Trust sites at Bournemouth, Poole Christchurch and Alderney, internal staff rest areas will be refurbished and equipment purchased to ensure that there are improved facilities to provide a long-lasting legacy of the wonderful support our community has shown their NHS heroes.