The NHS Forest exists to help healthcare sites develop their green spaces for health and biodiversity. We believe that every recovering patient and hard-working healthcare professional should have direct and easy access to nature. Green spaces on healthcare sites have been proven to provide numerous benefits, including faster recovery times, reduced stress and anxiety and improved overall wellbeing.

So, how can patients help promote and support the NHS Forest’s work?

Address the board – Most NHS trust board meetings invite questions from patients and the local community. Submit questions and ask your trust about their plans for developing and maintaining green spaces on their sites. Share information about the NHS Forest tree planting programme and the benefits of green spaces for healthcare facilities. Your voice as a patient can be incredibly influential in driving change.

Talk to your PALS – Most trusts have a Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) or similar department. Contact them to inquire about the trust’s green space plans, including any initiatives to plant trees, create gardens or enhance existing green areas. Share your thoughts on the importance of these spaces for patient wellbeing and recovery. Again, don’t forget to let them know about how the NHS Forest can help.

Become an advocate – Consider joining your local patient advisory group or forming a committee dedicated to promoting green spaces within the trust. Work with other patients, staff and community members to advocate for the development and maintenance of these spaces. You may wish to consider our Green Space for Health training or joining our Green Space for Health online network.

Think charity – Larger NHS trusts will have charities that support fundraising activities. Contact your local trust’s charity team and ask them about green space projects as well as telling them about our work and fully funded tree planting offer.

Share your experience – If you’ve benefited from access to green spaces during your healthcare journey, share your story. Write letters or emails to the trust leadership, local media, community groups and us, highlighting the positive impact these spaces had on your recovery or overall experience. Email your stories to us –

Volunteer – Look for local environmental or community groups that may be working on projects related to green spaces in healthcare facilities. Talk to them about our work and offer your support. You can also find volunteer opportunities through the NHS Forest.

Sponsor the NHS Forestsupporting our work financially helps us to provide trees, wildlife habitats, raised beds, wildflower meadows and more to as many healthcare sites as possible.

Your voice as a patient can be a powerful tool in driving positive change within the NHS. By advocating for green spaces, you can help create healing natural environments that prioritise patient wellbeing and contribute to a more sustainable future for the NHS.

This website uses cookies. You can find out more in our privacy policy.