Research from the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare shows gardens and other green spaces at hospital sites have an important role to play in supporting staff wellbeing.

Our year-long study Space to Breathe focuses on three NHS sites that have taken steps to encourage staff to relax and recharge in green space. Staff stress has long been a critical issue for the NHS, where in 2019 more than four in 10 staff reported feeling unwell as a result of work-related stress in the previous 12 months. These problems have been greatly exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, making staff wellbeing a greater priority than ever.

Our research shows that there is a strong appetite among health staff to take time outdoors – either for breaks or in the course of work – and points to a range of wellbeing benefits:

Space to Breathe was carried out in collaboration with the University of Essex and with support from the Health Foundation, an independent charity committed to bringing about better health and healthcare for people in the UK.

The research, conducted before the pandemic, explored staff experience of time in green space at work, including both benefits and barriers.

Watch the recording and presentations from the launch event on 22 October 2020 here:

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