The first tree to be planted at Warneford Hospital was planted during an event attended by the President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Dame Professor Sue Bailey.

The occasion celebrated work taking place at the trust and with partner organisations to help people with mental health issues benefit from outdoor spaces. Prime Minister David Cameron had introduced the trust to L.O.V.E Care Farm, a local group which helps people affected by mental health issues get closer to nature. The trust is now collaborating with members of the group and other partners including the NHS Forest to develop initiatives that see mental health patients use and enjoy nature as part of their recovery. Warneford Meadow, adjacent to the main site, has been developed as a space for hospital and community groups to access and enjoy.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “I am delighted to be able to join everyone here today as we celebrate NHS sustainability. NHS trusts, such as Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, can play an important role in contributing to reducing the country’s carbon footprint. Some of the initiatives I have been very interested to hear about today include the tree planting programme and also a project that helps people affected by mental health issues reap real benefits from the natural environment. I congratulate the trust and its partners for this excellent work that contributes to a lower carbon NHS.”

Prime Minister David Cameron with CSH director Rachel Stancliffe at Warneford Hospital, March 2014.
Prime Minister David Cameron with CSH director Rachel Stancliffe at Warneford Hospital, March 2014. Photo: Ric Mellis. All rights reserved.

The trust’s Chief Executive, Stuart Bell, said: “We are delighted that the Prime Minister could join us today to celebrate this initiative and our commitment to plant trees donated by NHS Forest. We also are fortunate to have a large green space, the Warneford Meadow, right next to the hospital site. We look forward to working with partners and neighbours to use this area for the benefit of our patients.”

President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Dame Sue Bailey, said: “Most people know now that physical activity can be an effective supplement to treatment in mild and moderate depression and anxiety disorders. But direct contact with nature also leads to a greater sense of connectedness with the community. Sustainable healthcare will also need to feature prominently in any future mental health service so I fully support Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust’s commitment to using this meadow as a recovery space for patients.”

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