Mayor of Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea opens first indoor garden for patients and staff at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital

1 June 2016


The Mayor of Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea unveiled a new indoor garden within Chelsea and Westminster Hospital last night. CW+, the charity for the hospital appointed the award winning landscape designer Jinny Blom as Artist in Residence to design this new relaxing space. The new garden, which hospital staff chose to name ‘CW+ Greenhaven’, is designed to be a restorative and calming area of the hospital for patients, their families and hospital staff. The project has been kindly supported by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) and Jinny Blom Limited.

Jinny Blom is a former Psychologist and Psychotherapist and worked in the public sector in residential mental health for ten years before moving to landscape design. Her first-hand experience of using plants, nature and landscapes in a therapeutic context is brought to bear for our patients. The charity will continue to work with Jinny on future initiatives, improving the patient environment and experience in the hospital.

Jinny Blom says: “For a garden to be pleasing it has to be comfortable and accessible. We have considered the various contexts in which it might be used and have designed a multidimensional park. It is sociable or private as the circumstances demand and we feel confident that it will bring a lot of pleasure to those who can access it. The planting is rich and exotic with huge trees that can grow out into the atrium. Its exciting!”

Trystan Hawkins, Patient Experience Director for CW+ says: “We are thrilled with the garden which Jinny has so carefully designed. There is a wealth of research which demonstrates how natural environments have a real impact on patient’s wellbeing, recovery and mood. Many of our patients are unable to leave the hospital, often for prolonged lengths of time, so having this space of tranquillity and nature will be a great addition”.

Lesley Watts, Chief Executive of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust says: “It’s really important that we develop our hospital space in a way that helps people remain resilient, calm and supported when in our hospital. We are very grateful for the ongoing support of the Royal Borough and the generous donations from patients and our supporters for funding this indoor garden, which will really benefit the patients we care for.”

CW+, currently run therapeutic gardening workshops for older patients, many with dementia, at the hospital. This new garden will deliver an additional area for these workshops that are specifically designed to help with the physical, social, emotional and psychological needs of patients. Patient interaction with plants and foliage improves cognitive function and reduces agitated behaviour.

CW+ work throughout the hospital transforming and improving the patient environment and experience. The charity is currently involved in a major refurbishment of the hospital’s A&E department. CW+’s research has shown that botanical and natural images help calm restless behaviour and noise levels within waiting rooms. This knowledge has been worked into the design of the new department which will be opening later this year.


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Notes to editors

About CW+

CW+ is the charity for Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. We exist to make care better for patients and their families.

From our base at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital we bring together pioneering research, innovation, art and design to transform the experience and outcomes for thousands of people every day - in our hospital, in the wider community and internationally.

We do this by:

  • Raising funds for education, training and ground-breaking research to identify new life saving treatments and illness prevention for babies, children and adults.
  • Delivering an award-winning art and design programme to transform the hospital environment and experience for patients, families, volunteers and staff.
  • Investing in financially sustainable innovations, facilities and technologies which improve clinical outcomes for patients.

About Jinny Blom

Jinny Blom set up her design practice in 2000 and has since been accumulating an extraordinary range of commissions in the UK, Europe, Africa, Middle East and the USA. Jinny is completely self-taught and doesn’t confine her creative output simply to the built landscape- more, she tailors her skills to suit the very varied commissions she receives ensuring each is given a unique and specific response.

Jinny is an accomplished plants woman, having studied plant habitats meticulously over the years. She has a strong inclination towards landscapes being part of an ongoing therapeutic debate. Her first career as a transpersonal psychologist used landscaping extensively and with startlingly positive results. Her sensitivity to places and people allows her to respond thoughtfully to commissions. She is a Board Member of the Therapeutic Landscapes Network in NYC and a Brother of the Artworkers Guild.

About Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea community kitchen gardens

Since 2009 the Council has created over 64 community garden sites which feature over 500 plots/allotments or ‘aplotments’ as some residents refer to them. It works with social landlords and local organisations to identify neglected areas which can be transformed into a horticulturist's delight and each year adds between five and ten new gardens to the scheme. It employs two part-time gardeners who run regular workshops and advise and support the residents.

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