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The NHS Forest has opened its national Tree Sponsorship Scheme to the public, making it possible for anyone in the UK to sponsor a tree in their local NHS Forest sites

The NHS Forest creates recuperative forests throughout the NHS to aid patient recovery, boost staff morale, provide areas where patients can come to terms with their condition and enable us all to reconnect with “our NHS”.

As the NHS reforms are being debated by the Government, the NHS Forest offers a simple alternative that can help save lives and money. If every household in England were provided with good access to quality green space it could save an estimated £2.1 billion in health care costs.* There are no additional costs to the NHS and everyone in the UK is likely to benefit from the space at one time or another in the coming years.

The NHS Forest is being led by the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare and delivered by OxTreeGen, a sustainable UK-woodland creation company.

Barney Jenkins, Director at OxTreeGen, said, “It is a fact that being close to or within sight of green space helps patient recovery and improves staff well-being. Just these two benefits will see a significant reduction in costs to the NHS and if the resulting improvement in air quality and the involvement of patients nurturing these sites is factored in then the NHS Forest becomes a necessary part of any future NHS, no matter what shape the current reforms take.”

Rachel Stancliffe, the Director of the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare, said: “Seeing trees from your hospital bed, or as you walk to your work at the hospital, or as a symbol of Thanks for the staff from a grateful patient will make the world of difference. If you or a loved one has ever been cared for at a hospital and you would like to give something back then sponsoring a tree is an ideal way to show your support.”

There is strong support for the NHS Forest with Sir Muir Gray, Chief Knowledge Officer at the NHS and Pam Warhurst, Chair of the Forestry Commission getting involved. Yet it is those who have loved ones in the hospitals that back the campaign the most. At the NHS Forest site at Falmouth Hospital, where there are many elderly patients, a relative whose mother is in the hospital said: “It’s a lovely space, I know she appreciates being taken outside. It perks her up - she’s ‘mum’ again”.

Rachel Stancliffe will be discussing the national Tree sponsorship scheme at Govtoday's national conference on sustainability within the NHS, for furtehr details please click here

To sponsor your tree visit www.nhsforest.oxtreegen.com

 

Written by Scott Buckler
Monday, 06 February 2012 14:02

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