Thursday, 23 August 2012

dropping by today & the Recovering Eden project

I drove through the hospital grounds this afternoon to see how things were going and noticed some benches had been removed.  Assuming for refurbishment.  In front of the Lomond Ward and near the IPCU at the back of the grassy area.  The bench near the IPCU front door is still there and 2 women were sitting on it chatting.  They weren't in uniforms.

Checked out the patio area behind the Ceres Centre shop, no change there.  I'm hoping there's a plan afoot to improve this area.  It definitely needs it.  Patients were sitting chatting and smoking.  In the shop one of the long stay patients spoke to me, said his arm was better now, asked after my son.  Other patients said hello as I passed on the road back to my car.
old tennis court down from Lomond Ward

Recently I heard about the Recovering Eden project, a plan to develop a 'therapeutic space' at Stratheden Hospital for the whole community.  A recovery theme with 3 aspects:  
  • Recovery of self after illness and developing resilience using the outdoors environment
  • Recovery of the grounds (their restoration)
  • Recovery of the grounds as a more natural green space than is the case now (Eden)
And a quote from Graham Buchanan, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) and Clinical Effectiveness (Mental Health), NHS Fife:

It’s great we still have this superb estate and that it is totally devoted to improving mental health and wellbeing. We are starting to take a second look at our Victorian inheritance and are rediscovering some of the ideas that our forbears had about how to improve our mental health. Common sense tells us that contact with the natural environment and making a contribution to someone or something beyond our own desires is good for us and research is starting to produce evidence to affirm this.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

keeping Stratheden tidy - bin the butts campaign?

I came by the Stratheden grounds to check on the areas I'd highlighted recently.  In particular to see how the clean up of cigarette butts was progressing.  There's no doubt that this is a challenging issue.  Not just the removal of piles left long ago but ensuring that more butts are not dropped.

petrol leaf blower/vacuum
I noticed that the area just outside the gate at the back of the IPCU was tidy which was encouraging.  However the area to the back of the shop still had accumulations.  A hoover could be useful, like a leaf blower/vacuum.

The habit of dropping cigarette butts, like the smoking habit, will be difficult to turn around.  But I believe that it can be done and should be done.  It's a matter of respect, in my opinion.  Respect for property and for other people who walk in the grounds and want to see a litter/butt free environment.  

From Falkirk Council website's 'cigarette litter facts':
  • Cigarette ends can take 5 to 12 years to fully biodegrade due to the cellulose acetate they contain 
  • Discarded butts can be harmful to birds and marine life
  • Because they are so small, cigarette butts easily get caught in paving stones and gullies and are therefore difficult to clean away effectively 

I think that a campaign to 'Keep Stratheden Tidy - Bin the Butts!' could be a useful way of highlighting the issue and involving the hospital community in a team effort.  Educational activities around the environmental impact of careless disposal of butts alongside support for stopping smoking.  

The cigarette packets tell us that 'smoking kills' so it makes sense to give people opportunities to take positive action.


Wednesday, 8 August 2012

therapeutic horticultural views

welcome to the Horticultural Therapy
At the far end of the hospital grounds, near the IPCU building are the Horticultural Therapy gardens and FACET project.  

The Horticultural Therapy department at Stratheden has been around for 25yrs, helping patients progress towards rehabilitation.

FACET (Fife Arts and Crafts Enterprise) is run by Fife Council and offers participants a range of horticultural skills and garden craft.

view over HT gardens
An oasis of green space where patients and others can potter, plant and experience the beauty of the landscape.

pond in the distance and greenhouse
I'm not sure that all visitors will be aware of these gardens.  I've always lived quite near the hospital, for the last 20 years or more, so have often walked through them, enjoying the plants, the view and the wildlife. 

Rabbits can be seen running around, no doubt a challenge to growing vegetables and other tasty plants.

I'd like to see the HT gardens replicated, in small pockets, throughout the hospital site.  With flower beds and patio tubs.  Shrubs and fruit trees.  Therapeutic views near wards and other buildings. 
hanging baskets looking up towards hospital

The Smokie hut, a good idea

FACET grounds

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

more cigarette butts

at back of shop in Ceres Centre
Walking around the grounds today I noticed the cigarette butts at the back of the Ceres Centre shop, in the patio area, had not been cleared yet.  I'd raised awareness of this recently.

There are various piles, under the shelter and near the back door, that must have been there for ages.  

Although this area is not seen from the road through the grounds it would be good to see it kept tidy, for the patients, visitors and staff who sit here.

close up of butts

other post

The shrub area is also looking neglected and would benefit from fresh planting and weeding.

shrub area back of shop

Friday, 3 August 2012

photos of patient spaces received

Thanks to Jim Leiper, Director of Estates, Facilities & Capital Services at NHS Fife, for Emailing me photos today of patient spaces at Stratheden Hospital.  

Not sure as yet of where they are, what wards or settings, so have asked for clarification.  I've uploaded a couple of photos then will put the rest on when I know.
I am informed that outside agencies have been helping with encouraging biodiversity at Stratheden, attracting wildlife, for the benefit of everyone using the paths throughout the hospital grounds.  Plans for refurbishment of all benches are ongoing.  Sweeping duties increased and improved recycling levels.

It's a "work in progress", according to Jim Leiper, and encouraging to hear of the commitment and determination of his Stratheden team to work on the necessary improvements.  With the input and support of clinical staff on site.
I look forward to seeing the results.

resisting the temptation

I'm resisting the temptation to post something about the environment inside the wards at Stratheden Hospital.  After something that happened yesterday.  

To do with notes.  

Instead I wrote another Blog post on Mad in America .

Thursday, 2 August 2012

and another bench replaced

Noticed another bench replacement at the Lomond Ward where the view stretches out over the fields and the new build wards.  In this summer weather it should be useful for patients and visitors to sit a while.

Walking up by the back of the shop to the patio area I saw there were still many cigarette butts on ground.  A few new plants and shrubs wouldn't go amiss.  Maybe the horticultural therapy in the hospital grounds could help with this?