Colchester General Hospital is working hard to improve the hospital environment for people who are nearing the end of their lives.
Based on research by The King’s Fund, the hospital’s Palliative Care Team wishes to develop a special garden for patients who are in their last weeks and days, and their families. It will be a place for quiet contemplation, peaceful reflection and privacy for terminally ill patients to spend time, either on their own or with their loved ones.
Palliative care cannot cure illnesses such as cancer but it aims to ease symptoms, including pain, breathlessness, tiredness and sickness, and helps patients to feel better both physically and emotionally.
The Time Garden will be part of the supportive care we provide patients and their families at this difficult time.
The vision for our Time Garden is that it will be built and designed around the specific needs of terminally ill patients, the space will enable even bed-bound patients to move easily to the garden from their ward, and with the use of planting, provide much-needed privacy. There will be a glass-fronted pavilion to give shelter, as well as facilities for refreshments and music.
The Time Garden will be open all-year round for patients who are approaching the end of their life. Research shows that green space and gardens in hospitals can benefit patients’ health and well-being, and can even improve the health of some patients. We hope the Time Garden will be an idyllic place for patients to spend precious moments with their families.
Similar gardens in other NHS hospitals have been welcomed by patients and even used to host weddings and family celebrations.
To create the Time Garden will cost about £160,000. A fundraising appeal has been launched to raise this sum.
Dying patients often express the wish to spend time outside with people who are special to them – it is hoped the Time Garden will enable them to fulfil this wish in the last days of life.
For further information or to support the Time Garden, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
£1,000 will help to pay for bi-fold doors to enable the pavilion to be used in all weathers.
£500 will provide comfortable seating in the pavilion for patients and their loved ones.
£100 will help to provide refreshments for patients using the garden.
£50 will enable us to buy gardening tools for our volunteer gardeners.
Help create a place for quiet contemplation, peaceful reflection and privacy for terminally ill patients to spend time, either on their own or with their loved ones.