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Wellbeing Courtyard Launch

25th July 2020

Thanks to the generosity of The Uspire Group, who donated £5,000, St George’s Hospital Charity have been able to provide additional support to frontline workers by creating a Wellbeing Courtyard.

The therapies teams who use the Wellbeing Courtyard are mainly physiotherapists and occupational therapists, including the musculoskeletal (MSK) physiotherapy team, the neurological outpatients team, the respiratory physio team and STAR team.

Prior to Covid-19, the therapists would hold outpatient consultations in the therapies gym space. However, as a result of the pandemic, outpatient activities were paused under safety guidelines to help control the spread. Also, from the end of March, physios and occupational therapists were redeployed as healthcare assistants or inpatient physiotherapists as needed.

Prior to being redeveloped into the Wellbeing Courtyard, the space was not used by staff or patients and had no seating. It was deemed unsafe and derelict with weeds and obsolete items being stored there.

Just one week into the transformation, it’s already clear that the space can be used year round as it is equipped with outdoor furniture suitable for all seasons, such as benches, tables, chairs, parasols, soft furnishings, plants and pots. The moveable furniture means that the courtyard has more versatile uses. For example, meetings can be held in a more comfortable and green environment; high level MSK patients can receive therapy; and rehabilitation classes can be held. The outpatient neuro team will use the space for functional rehab for patients with backgrounds of strokes, multiple sclerosis and Parkinsons. Since the redevelopment, it's a safe space for these patients to re-learn and practice walking in a safe, real-life environment for rehabilitation; this is better suited to their needs than improvised or simulated spaces. In addition to staff use, there are future plans to use the area for patient use. Utilising this outdoor space will not only improve patient engagement in therapy, but also supply a more suitable space to rehabilitate those who have goals focused on outdoor spaces such as gardening.

Chris Cleaver, a specialised musculoskeletal therapist who is part of a team of 60, said: ‘Essentially this is a project which we've been looking to get off the ground for a number of years. The Charity was able to share our vision in creating the space. Since being open for one week, it has already improved staff wellbeing and the environment will also improve patient care all year-round.’

The courtyard’s location allows for generous sunlight through these summer days while therapies staff hold meetings, sit on breaks during long shifts and have lunch. The improvements to this area will vastly boost staff morale, especially as they have restricted office space which has little light. The teams have also been delighted during these difficult and challenging times to use the shared space for happy occasions such as celebrating birthdays, holding leaving lunches and hosting other team events. Thank you to Mark Francis from The Uspire Group and the teams involved in bringing the courtyard and gardening project together.






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