A Failsworth great-grandfather who officially opened a new garden for patients and staff at North Manchester General Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) has described it as ‘magical’.
Victor Lund previously spent 64 days on the ICU after contracting severe pneumonia. While recovering on the ICU, he discussed the idea of a garden to help both patients and staff with Allison Keegan, an Advanced Critical Care Practitioner.
Allison whipped up support amongst her colleagues and supporters and has now turned Victor’s garden vision into a reality.
Bringing the garden to life, family-owned leading maintenance contractor Novus Property Solutions kindly donated materials and completed labour free of charge to deliver the landscaping of the space, which included gravel and paving for accessibility, alongside the installation of benches and planters. Novus has a longstanding relationship with Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, and has carried out a wide variety of refurbishment and maintenance works across the Trust’s estates since it was appointed to the Measured Term Framework in July 2015.
Victor, 77, who became a great grandfather in August with the birth of his great granddaughter, Olivia, said: “I just wanted to go out into the garden and feel the air and breeze through my hair. You can’t beat the fresh air – it makes you feel so much better – I think it’s a magical garden.”
“I want to thank everyone for letting me open the ICU garden which will benefit patients recovering from their trauma, along with the staff. I would like to thank the staff in ICU who all saved my life. Words can never be enough for everything they did to keep me alive.”
“I’d like to give a special thank you to Allison Keegan, who took me outside of ICU – it always made my day and made me want to get better. Being able to open the garden with Allison was a dream come true – thanks for making it all happen!”
Allison, who secured the support of organisations including contractors on the new North Manchester General Hospital development, said: “It’s a fantastic feeling to get to the end of the ICU garden project. There’s lots of evidence that being outside helps patients become less confused and can also reduce the length of stay. It really does help with patients’ morale – if they have been inside for weeks and weeks then there is a massive difference to their well-being when they can go outside.”
Kathy Cowell, Chairman of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, which is responsible for NMGH, added: “It was humbling to attend the opening ceremony with former patients, their families, staff and supporters. Allison’s work to bring people together in partnership to bring Victor’s dream to life really reflects our values – putting our patients at the heart of everything we do. This is a fantastic resource for patients and staff alike.”
Chris Murphy, Head of Operations at Novus Property Solutions, added: “We always aim to go the extra mile when it comes to delivering projects for our highly valued clients, and we’re proud to have taken the lead with the transformation of North Manchester General Hospital’s ICU Garden while we carried out contracted refurbishment works.”
“As a family-owned business, people are at the heart of everything we do, from our own colleagues to our clients and end users. Our Build Back Better social value initiative aims to tackle some of the key issues in society, including mental health and wellbeing, so we’re delighted to have created a space for patients and NHS staff alike to enjoy.”