Oxleas opens dementia garden for patients

An oasis of calm is now being enjoyed by patients and carers following the official opening of our dementia garden on Holbrook ward.

Oxleas Chair, Andy Trotter, cut a ribbon to declare the garden officially open at an afternoon tea party on 30 August.

Holbrook ward is in the Woodlands Unit at Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup and is our dedicated in-patient dementia ward. It is decorated in a style from times gone by, to reassure patients and feel more like home than a hospital ward.

The garden has been designed in a similar way to include old-fashioned beach huts, a red post box and telephone kiosk.

Oxleas funded the ground works and the rest was provided by a generous donation from the Friends of Queen Mary’s and from Holbrook Ladies – a group of ex-carers whose loved ones received care on the ward.

Stacey Blackford, specialist Dementia nurse and ward manager, said: “I have already seen the benefit of the garden to patients. One who was angry and upset went outside barefoot and felt the grass which instantly calmed him down. I remember he smiled and spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the garden.

"It is lovely to see the joy on patients’ faces as they touch and smell the herbs, sit on the benches and enjoy the sunshine. They’re also able to enjoy it freely without members of staff with them because it is so safe. It’s an amazing design and we all love it."

Published on 31st August 2018