We have been working with the Green Exercise Partnership (GEP) since 2011 to develop and improve the quality of our outdoor space so patients, staff and visitors can make better use of it for exercise, recovery and rehabilitation, relaxation and recreation. Planting trees and creating sustainable outdoor environments can also help us meet carbon reduction targets and promote biodiversity.
The primary development sites, University Hospital Ayr and Ailsa Hospital, have been designated as a GEP 'national demonstration site'. We have developed a landscape master plan, which sets out how the 12 hectares of underused woodland (some of which is 150 years old) and green open spaces will be developed to create new opportunities for health and wellbeing.
To help promote the benefits of exercise and make the best use of our green spaces, NHS Ayrshire & Arran has developed the grounds of University Hospital Ayr and Ailsa Hospital to provide patients, staff and visitors with an accessible outdoor space, click here to find out more about our Greenspace for health.
As part of the project, we have created a new path network which links up both University Hospital Ayr and Ailsa Hospital, providing attractive places for exercise, relaxation and recuperation.
Patients have said the paths offer a "peaceful and therapeutic" environment and clinical staff use the paths for "walk and talk" meetings. Staff also report that they are beginning to use the grounds for walking and relaxation and report mental health benefits from taking time away from busy wards to "de-stress and unwind". And the local community regularly use the wooded grounds for walking and to view wildlife.