3 May 2024

The Critical Care Garden at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital was reopened after extensive work to improve access for patients, thanks to the support of charity.

The kind donations of William Dodd’s family to The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) Charity enabled works to the Critical Care Garden to be undertaken.

The local butcher died in September last year after spending 11 weeks on the ITU ward battling an illness.

Mr Dodd was an avid gardener and loved the outdoors, but he wasn’t able to experience the garden fully himself.

His family raised over £6,500 last year with the aim of improving the garden for critically ill patients to provide them with the opportunity to get outside in the fresh air.

The garden reopened last month and included removing the gravel pathway and replacing it with paving and installing a longer ramp to make it possible for patients in a bed to access the garden.

An outdoor power supply provides the option for patients needing medical equipment to still be able to enjoy the garden and a gazebo provides privacy for patients and their families when needed.

The therapy team for ITU were key drivers in the process recognising the importance of getting patients outside in the fresh air and to enjoy the sights and sounds of the garden.

Dr Mowatt, Clinical Director of Critical Care, said: “It’s incredible when a family’s first instinct after a tragic loss is to react by raising money to benefit others. It says a huge amount about Mr Dodd and his devoted family that they have been so generous with their fundraising efforts. The whole project has been inspirational for us all and we are hugely grateful.

“Having a garden space allows patients out into the fresh air, away from their bed space and the stimulation is invaluable as we seek to build a patient’s confidence. Rehabilitation is truly holistic. Building muscle, restoring function but also promoting wellbeing in its broadest sense.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our rehabilitation team and the work they do. They make a difference every day.

“I sat in the garden today. Quiet. Birds tweeting. A bit of warmth on my face. I thought about Mr Dodd and his family, all the others remembered there and those yet to be. What a lovely thing.”

Mr Dodd’s family express their thanks to friends and customers who donated to the various fundraising events they held, and donations given. Special thanks also go to the Trust’s Estates team for organising the work, the Market Hall and Bannatynes Gym in Shrewsbury for their fundraising and support.

Caption: Jason Simister, Abbie Marsden, Kaley Dodd, Beth Evans, Lottie Evans, Claire Evans, Lisa Marsden and Mr Dodd’s wife Dawn in the Critical Care garden