Community nursing innovators receive national recognition

The Queen’s Nursing Institute – which founded the National Garden Scheme in 1927 and continues to be a major beneficiary of our work – has published summary reports of all the nurse-led innovation projects that have taken place in 2022-23.

The QNI has a successful track record of supporting nurses who have ideas to improve the health of individuals, families and communities with projects delivered in small cohorts to enable shared learning and to provide intensive personal support. Projects typically last 12 months but most of them continue beyond the original project year, having demonstrated proof of concept.

The most recent innovation projects have been grouped into three streams including the NGS (Innovation) Elsie Wagg Scholarships which were launched in 2021. These projects, supported by the National Garden Scheme, are centred on how gardens can improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. They show how theoretical principles can be translated into nursing practice that has direct and lasting benefit on people in a number of settings, including GP surgeries and residential care.

The projects featured in the report include:

Shildon Growing Health Allotment project, Durham
The Just Be Garden project, Goole, East Yorkshire
Project GARDEN (Grow, Active, Recharge, Develop, Enrich, Nurture), North London
Connecting with the Senses project, Cheshire (lead picture)
Healthy South Wirral Sensory and Wellbeing Garden project, Wirrall
Willow Incredible Wellbeing Garden project, Gosport, Hampshire
*No Inequalities project, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
*Rowcroft Space for Nature project, Devon
*Sustainability and Nutritional Programme for patients in a community hospital setting project, Kent

*These three projects were NHSE funded but the National Garden Scheme were happy to give them honorary Elsie Wagg scholarship status due to their focus on gardening and wellbeing.

Commenting on the projects George Plumptre, Chief Executive of the National Garden Scheme said: “We are delighted to share these summary reports of the gardens and health projects as part of the NGS Elsie Wagg (Innovation) Scholarship programme. Recent evidence has demonstrated the widespread benefits that gardens offer to a wide range of physical and mental health conditions, and from their initial presentations to completion of their projects I know that these will be really impactful and rewarding. The programme is an increasingly important exemplar of the synergy between our major nursing beneficiaries and our gardens and health programme.”

All of the project leaders received certificates at the recent QNI Awards Ceremony held in London in December, recognising the scope of their achievements in community nursing.

Dr Amanda Young, QNI Director of Nursing Programmes (Innovation and Policy), who leads the programme delivery commented: “These projects demonstrate a huge range of innovative practice by nurses working in the community, social care and primary care. Working with the QNI, nurses are empowered to lead their projects and develop imaginative and sustainable solutions in care delivery, with benefits that go far beyond the initial project idea.”

You can read the NGS Elsie Wagg Innovation Scholarship final report summary of recent projects here

For more on the National Garden Scheme’s support for community garden projects click here


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