Dedicated space for wellbeing created for staff at Rotherham Hospital

As the NHS celebrated its 73rd birthday, Rotherham Hospital celebrated the official opening of an exclusive space dedicated to the health and wellbeing of its staff.

The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust was joined by West-Yorkshire based construction company, Illingworth & Gregory (I&G), who created the space, and hospital staff to celebrate with an NHS tea party. Entertainment included a brass band and ribbon cutting ceremony to welcome staff into the brand-new gardens.

Dr Richard Jenkins, Interim Chief Executive for The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, said;

“It is an honour and a pleasure to be able to officially open the Wellbeing Gardens here at Rotherham Hospital.

“On the NHS 73rd Birthday, it is great to be celebrating something else that will be here for our staff for many years to come.

“The importance of wellbeing and taking time out has never been more of a focus for NHS staff, and these gardens will provide exclusive access to allow ours to enjoy quiet time in a tranquil space.”

As part of a wider programme of construction works throughout the hospital, I&G created the Wellbeing Gardens in just four weeks and have donated benches to the gardens.

David Wood, Contracts Manager at I&G said;

“Our tight turnaround time meant that we had to design the gardens as they were being constructed, so it’s amazing to see it all come together so quickly and be able to welcome the hospital staff into what will be such an important space for them.

“We are so proud to have been selected to complete several refurbishment and expansion schemes for Rotherham Hospital on behalf of the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, all as a matter of covid urgency.

“Through our expertise and knowledge within this sector, we have built a strong, long-standing relationship with the Trust. We look forward to maintaining this and working with them further over the coming weeks and months.”

The Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity received a £50,000 grant from NHS Charities Together to help fund the gardens and a woodland walk at Rotherham Hospital.

Heather Craven, Non-Executive Director for The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust added;

“Last year the British public showed incredible generosity and support to the NHS by raising substantial sums of money. As a result, the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity had the opportunity to bid for a substantial grant and we were successful in securing it.

“Listening to ideas from our colleagues, it was clear that there was a need and desire for a dedicated space to relax and enjoy breaks, and from that the Wellbeing Gardens have been created.

“This is a true collaboration between the charity and the Trust, testament to what we can achieve when we work together to turn a vision into reality. I want to thank the Trust for persuading I&G to carry out the works in such short notice, and to I&G for not taking much persuading at all – jumping at the chance to create such an important space for our staff.

“We will be opening our Woodland walk for staff, patients and their families in the coming weeks, but the Wellbeing Garden is for the exclusive use of our colleagues. We hope this space will provide a vibrant green space where our colleagues can relax, enjoy quiet time or exercise when they can.

“Our colleagues who live on site will at last have a garden to enjoy both day and night, and as a keen gardener a lot of work has gone into ensuring there is colour in the garden all year round. In the coming weeks, trees and picnic benches will also be installed.”

I&G will be continuing external works at Rotherham Hospital including the final additions to the Wellbeing Gardens and Woodland Walk which is due to be completed in a few weeks.

I&G Project Manager, Sherwin Naron added;

“Personally, this particular project has been one of the most unique to work on because there was no initial specification provided for us to construct the gardens. It is testament to our team and skilled subcontractors for completing the works so quickly and to such precision. Seeing the reactions of the end-users at the official opening has been truly humbling.

“As contractors, we are always getting involved in NHS projects; we know what works and what doesn’t, but we always focus on the end goal in making the space more efficient for staff, and equally, as comfortable and pleasant for patients as possible.

“We have been working on a lot of internal projects for Rotherham General Hospital lately, which has remained fully operational throughout the construction programme. Being able to give something back to the staff who have been so accommodating throughout is an absolute pleasure.”

Other works have included extending the existing A&E entrance to create a drop-off point, an internal one-way system, separate consultation rooms and due to the number of factories in close proximity to the hospital, space outside was needed for a unique de-contamination unit so that there is a dedicated area for chemical spillages to be dealt with on site.

Full refurbishment to Ward B6 will create several additional high dependency beds, as well as dedicated areas for staff to don their PPE and enter critical care units safely. Further refurbishment to Keppel Ward begins in August as a response to growing patient numbers.

Wellbeing has been a focus for the Trust and I&G throughout the programme, with the refurbishment of the discharge lounge creating a nicer space for patients to wait. This involved not only creating extra beds for patients, but also making use of previously void outdoor space so that they can enjoy open space and fresh air before they are discharged.

Individual cubicles for patient privacy and covid-secure measures have also been installed in Resus through the scheme.

With thanks to our supply chain partners;

• Yorkshire Services Ltd
• Brewsters Groundworks
• IWM Landscaping
• A&S Landscapes (sails and associated works)
• Freshair Fitness (gym equipment)
• STS Fencing and Benches
• Richardsons Electrical
• HPI Mechanical