Whilst the internal facilities of your hospital are extremely important, an area which can be a huge benefit to both your staff, patients and visitors is a pleasant outdoor garden or seating area.
The benefits of fresh air and engaging with nature are well documented, with more and more reports showing that even just looking at a natural environment can improve people’s wellbeing, for example research has shown that patient recovery rates improve if even the view out of their window contains trees!¹
With this is mind it is a good idea to provide a relaxing and comfortable outdoor environment for patients, their visitors and staff to allow everyone to feel these benefits. As well as boosting vitamin D production, which can elevate mood and has been shown to improve muscle strength, experiencing natural sunlight can lower incidents of Seasonal Affective Disorder. It can also allow patients to escape the clinical and sometimes stressful environment of a hospital ward, giving them a chance to appreciate nature, get some fresh air and de-stress and recuperate.
This environment can also be used by staff to conduct horticultural therapy, or physical therapy with patients, and it also allows patients and visitors to have a neutral place to interact away from the hospital interior.
Reap the benefits all year round
A popular feature to include in a hospital garden, courtyard or outdoor seating area is a shade system to offer users of the area a place to shelter from the sun.
The Kent and Canterbury Hospital asked us to install three shade sails into their hospital garden to provide a shaded seating area in their garden. They choose calm and restful colours which complemented the each other and the area creating a peaceful and relaxing environment for patients and visitors to sit and enjoy the garden.
Canopies are also popular additions to hospital gardens and offer permanent shade and shelter, whilst awnings can also be a useful addition, to offer temporary cover from the sun when needed.
To help you choose the perfect shade sail structure, download The Ultimate Shade Sail Guide:
Able Canopies Ltd. design, manufacture and install canopies and shade structures at
hospitals, care homes and healthcare organisations across the UK, allowing our
customers to provide dry and sheltered outdoor areas to improve the wellbeing
and comfort of patients, residents and visitors.
For more information please contact us
¹www.nhsforest.org/evidence accessed July 2014
Image 1: Fotolia
Image 2: East Kent Hospitals
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