The Royal Edinburgh Hospital (REH) has received the prestigious Green Flag Award for the second year running. This award is an internationally recognised mark of quality which has been awarded to the hospital for its well managed natural spaces that benefit patients, staff and the local community. In 2021, REH became the first hospital in Scotland to receive the Green Flag Award.
The international award is administered in Scotland by the environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful. The award celebrates well maintained parks and greenspaces which provide people with the opportunity for exercise, improve mental wellbeing and provide safe areas for play – something that was especially important during the pandemic.
Tracey McKigen, Services Director for the Royal Edinburgh Hospital and Associated Services said: “I’m really delighted that our hospital has received this award as it shows how much work goes into looking after our beautiful greenspaces.
“These areas are very important to us in NHS Lothian as they enable both our staff and patients to connect with nature, which helps with mental and general wellbeing.
“This award was only possible with the support and contributions from the whole hospital community, so I would like to thank everyone involved for their ongoing hard work to support our natural greenspace areas. As the site evolves to meet future healthcare needs, our greenspace management plan will ensure nature continues to be at the heart of the site.”
The NHS Lothian Grounds and Gardens teams manage the site with the support of third sector organisations and patient volunteers. The activities these groups run in the outdoor spaces form a key part of people’s recovery pathway.
Ian Mackenzie, Green Health Programme Manager at NHS Lothian Charity, said: “This is such a great achievement for the hospital to be recognised for its well-managed, natural spaces. These spaces are a lifeline to our hospital community, and not only form a key part of people’s recovery pathway, but have also become an essential asset for patients, staff and the local community, particularly during lockdowns. This collaborative approach to continuing to evolve the space to meet current and future healthcare needs will ensure nature continues to be at the heart of the site now and for years to come.”
A detailed map of Scotland’s Green Flag sites can be found at: www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/parks