A new Healing Garden where staff and patients at the Royal Derby Hospital can plant bulbs in memory of their loved ones is now open at Royal Derby Hospital.

The garden, which is located outside the Coronary Care Unit, comprises of a series of flower beds and paving stones and a commemorative bench, where staff and patients can plants bulbs in memory of a loved one who has died at one of our hospitals.

Special planting ceremonies will take place three times per year to ensure that the garden is always in bloom. Planting ceremonies will then be held every fourth month from this point.

Elizabeth Mason, Sister on Ward 204 at the Royal Derby, has experienced bereavement following the death of her Nana and Father-in-law, who were both cared for at the Royal Derby Hospital.

She said that the Healing Garden will be a fitting way to remember her family members: “Both my Nana and Father-in-law were keen gardeners, so the garden will be a lovely place for me to go to remember them. It’s a really lovely idea and it will bring a lot of colour and joy to the area.

“It will be nice for the members of public to use and to know that we as a Trust do not forget about our patients and that they’re always in thoughts.”

The Healing Garden opened during this year’s Dying Matters Week; a national campaign which aims to raise the importance of talking about death and dying.

Karen Bussooa, End of Life Care Facilitator at UHDB, said: “The Healing Garden will provide members of staff and the public with a peaceful place to remember their loved ones, and to open it during this year’s Dying Matters Awareness Week is a fitting gesture.

“It is very important that we talk about death and dying and help patients, relatives, friends and our staff members prepare for death and bereavement, and the opening of the garden will further encourage this.”

Elizabeth, who is the End of Life Care Ward Link Nurse on her ward, said: “I’m very passionate about End of Life Care as it makes such a difference to patients and their loved ones. The Trust is doing a lot of good work in this area and this is just another example of that.”

The project to bring the garden to life has been supported by both the Derby and Burton Hospitals Charity and Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme, the latter of which has granted £4,000 to Air Arts.

The Bags of Help scheme involves Tesco customers voting in stores throughout November and December for which projects they would like to be funded, and the Healing Garden was awarded the maximum grant as a result of these vote.

Laura Waters, Arts Programme Manager, said: “We’ve been planning a garden project for people to remember loved ones within the hospital grounds for a while now, so we’re really grateful to Tesco customers who voted for our project to enable us to make this happen.”