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’, focused on three NHS sites that took 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 now 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.

The study found:

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 Covid-19 pandemic, explored staff experience of time in green space at work, including both benefits and barriers. For more details please see the summary briefing and full report below. You can watch the recording and presentations from the launch event on 22 October 2020 here.

You can watch the Space to Breathe virtual launch event on 22 October 2020 here:

Video of the Space to Breathe virtual launch event on 22 October 2020.

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