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Rowcroft Hospice’s Inpatient Unit Garden claims National Award

11 November 2014

Rowcroft Hospice’s redesigned Inpatient Unit Garden has won the prestigious Best External Environment award in the nationwide Building Better Healthcare Awards 2014.

The 16th annual awards ceremony took place at The Brewery in Central London on Wednesday 5 November.  

The garden provides an outdoor space for patients and visitors to Rowcroft Hospice’s 17-bed Inpatient Unit based in South Devon, where more than 1800 people with life-limiting illnesses are cared for every year.

The Building Better Healthcare Awards celebrate innovation, people and services that are helping to transform patient care in the UK. The Best External Environment award judges were looking for an outstanding space that enhances the overall experience of patients, staff and visitors.

Simon Weal, Rowcroft’s Estates Manager said: “We are thrilled to have won a national award. This is a fantastic way to celebrate our updated garden and a credit to the whole team.”

The garden underwent a makeover earlier this year thanks to a Department of Health grant, so that the hospice’s patients and their loved ones would be able to access it more easily.

The judges said of Rowcroft’s garden: “This is a garden redesign of the highest quality which has radically improved access for palliative care patients to the grounds of the hospice. The new terrace area blends exceptionally well with the building and the extensive grounds.

“The design is full of thoughtful touches including ramps for accessibility, the provision of parasols to provide shade, and electricity points so that beds can be wheeled out onto the terrace.”

The garden is kept in top condition by Richard Taylor, Rowcroft’s Gardens Supervisor, his assistant and a team of eight green-fingered volunteers. Richard is delighted at the recognition of the hard work of all involved in the garden redesign.

He said: “We’re over the moon to have won! It’s a great recognition of all the hard work of our volunteers, as well as the team who built the garden at the beginning of the year in the storms and pouring rain.”

The latest award adds to a first prize in Torbay’s Bay Blooms competition, and an award in the Royal Horticultural Society’s ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ awards. 

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