NHS – Ailsa
Ayrshire Tree Surgeons undertook a 26k individual tree safety works contract at the NHS Ailsa site located in Ayr. This involved working on a busy site with vulnerable groups present. The contract was completed on time and within budget to the clients satisfaction.
Following advice from the Green Exercise Partnership which comprises of the Forestry Commission Scotland, NHS Health Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage, the Ayrshire and Arran Estate was looking to improve the use of ‘NHS greenspace’ for patients, staff, visitors and the wider community by providing welcoming and attractive spaces and paths within hospital grounds for recreation and relaxation , rehabilitation and recovery programmes. This was in line with the Green Exercise Partnerships three strategic objectives:
- To mainstream use of NHS estate as a health promoting asset consistent with national policy objectives.
- To promote awareness, engagement and ownership of this topic with NHS Scotland boards.
- To deliver practical enhancement and better usage of greenspace that is within NHS ownership or influence in support of the above objectives .
Ayrshire Tree Surgeons who are Forestry Commission and South Ayrshire Council approved contractors understood the importance of having well maintained and attractive green spaces available. A new study published in the journal of Environment Science and Technology showed that urban green space can lead to significant and sustained improvement in mental health. Analysing data that followed people over a five year period the research showed that moving to a greener area not only improves peoples mental health, but that the effect continues long after they leave. In 2012 the World Health Organisation cited depression as the leading cause of disability worldwide, and this study builds on research that has found natural environments could act as a vital resource to improve health and wellbeing. In further support The Woodland Trust’s chief executive has said increasing people’s access to green spaces could cut billions of pounds from the NHS healthcare bill. Sue Holden said it had been calculated that the NHS could save £2.1bn a year if everyone had access to green spaces.
It is clear that there is a strong correlation between access to green space and an individual’s health and wellbeing. The benefits will be further felt on hospital grounds where patients can move from a clinical environment to more peaceful and natural surroundings.
The benefits to patients have already been proven from the initial phase of works linking Ayr Hospital and Ailsa Hospital. Ayrshire Tree Surgeons were able to bring our expertise and be involved in this phase of works as we believed in and supported the rational behind the project and the benefits that it brought.
As a company with experience in working on sensitive sites and with vulnerable groups we understood the need for careful planning and the need for continual clear communication between contractor and client for efficient and safe delivery of the project whilst causing minimum disruption to patients, staff and visitors to the hospital grounds.