NHS Forest conference 2015
- Date: 28 September 2015
- Location: University Hospitals Birmingham
- Total trees planted: 38,742
- Number of NHS Forest Sites: 150
The evidence base was an important aspect of the 2015 NHS Forest conference. NHS Forest coordinator Sarah Dandy started the day with a presentation detailing the many benefits of green space on healthcare sites, including accelerated patient recovery, improved air quality and reduced costs through disease prevention.
Carl Petrokofsky, specialist in public health at Public Health England, gave us a detailed insight into the benefits to health from using green space, the need for more trees to stop hospitals overheating and the importance of exercising in green space.
Georgina Smith from Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust outlined the variety of work taking place at their NHS Forest sites, including green gym activities, school children engaging in orchard planting and cooking apples, and opportunities for the local community to learn horticultural skills.
The day finished with a workshop in which participants designed an NHS Forest site. Ideas included a bee garden, orchards, river walks and the chance to learn horticultural skills. Participants highlighted the practicalities of running a health walk as well as the importance of involving different stakeholder groups and the many cultural and behaviour changes that need to take place to engage people in green space.
- Introduction: Tim Jones, executive director of delivery at University Hospital, Birmingham
- NHS Forest update: Sarah Dandy, NHS Forest coordinator
- How to convince health professionals green space is a good idea: Carl Petrokofsky, PHE
- Activities on site to encourage engagement: Georgina Smith, Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust. See Georgina’s presentation here.
- Workshop: How to get the most out of your green space – create a project
- Visit to University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Forest site, including an orchard and community garden
NHS Forest Awards:
This year’s winners were:
- Most trees planted for the NHS Forest in the last year: Health Education East of England
- Most innovative NHS Forest site: South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
- Most pioneering use of green space by a healthcare professional: Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust