NHS staff can enjoy the outdoors thanks to generous donations

Bradford Hospitals’ Charity has shown its continued commitment to getting NHS staff outdoors to take a break with the purchase of two benches.

The benches, at Daisy Bank, opposite Bradford Royal Infirmary, Duckworth Lane, overlook a rose garden and large lawn. They were funded thanks to grants received from NHS Charities Together, of which Bradford Hospitals’ Charity is a member.

Bradford Hospitals’ Charity – the official NHS charity partner of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – has previously purchased garden furniture to create an outdoor staff relaxation space at St Luke’s Hospital, as well as 20 deckchairs for the Trust’s Intensive Care Unit colleagues to sit outside in their own outdoor area for a well-earned breather.

Ruth Wood, General Manager of the Trust’s urology, vascular and renal departments, requested the benches for Bradford Teaching Hospitals staff. She said: “It’s so important that staff take a break. Of course it’s more important than ever at the moment because of the pressures which have been put on our NHS staff over the past year due to the pandemic. We are working long hours, so it’s important that we look after ourselves. As managers, it’s also vital that we provide support and let colleagues know how important it is to take a break.

“We have some beautiful grounds here at Bradford Teaching Hospitals, so it makes perfect sense to enjoy them. It’s nice to sit and enjoy nature. When the flowers are in full bloom, it will be beautiful.

“We’ve all been confined to our own areas, offices and homes for such a long time that it will be lovely to come outside and talk to people again.”

Hayley Collis, Head of Fundraising for Bradford Hospitals’ Charity, said the benches and garden furniture were just the start of a much larger project for the charity to invest in outdoor spaces for both staff and patients.

She said: “It’s been an incredibly tough year for our NHS staff and our charity is committed to supporting colleagues – many of whom are exhausted – in any way we can. We have funded wellbeing rooms at Bradford Royal Infirmary and St Luke’s Hospital, paid for the refurbishment of staff areas, as well as funded talking and counselling services to help with staff mental and emotional wellbeing.

“We are determined to do all we can to meet the needs of our hard-working NHS staff, so watch this space for details of how we will fund further outdoor relaxation spaces in the future.”

So far, Bradford Hospitals’ Charity has invested around £390,000 in supporting staff and patients impacted during the Covid-19 pandemic. The money has been raised by people and organisations across Bradford District as part of the Bradford Hospitals‘ Charity NHS Hospital Heroes appeal, as well as nationally via the NHS Charities Together emergency appeal.

To find out more about the NHS Hospital Heroes appeal and to donate, visit https://bradfordhospitalscharity.org/nhshospitalheroes.