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New hand-crafted hospital garden smoke-free signs point the way to a healthier lifestyle

NHS Lanarkshire’s quit smoking team has unveiled new handmade signs at a number of their hospital gardens.

The Quit Your Way team, in conjunction with the Green Health Partnership, unveiled the new smoke-free signs which aim to ensure patients, staff, and visitors can enjoy a relaxed smoke-free environment while attracting bees and other garden wildlife to enhance the outdoor areas.

The gardens were created by NHS Lanarkshire’s Green Health Programme and integrate green activities into patient rehabilitation programmes and dementia groups. Patients grow fresh vegetables on the sites and all produce grown is used within NHS Lanarkshire or donated to the Clydesdale Foodbank.

NHS Lanarkshire worked with Clydesdale Community Initiatives (CCI) to develop the new signs which were made by the group’s woodcraft team at Langloch Farm. They have been installed at five hospital sites; Kirklands, Coathill, Airbles Road, Udston, and Hairmyres.

CCI volunteer Andy Logan, from Newmains, actually quit smoking with the Quit Your Way service.

“Smoking affected my health and when I was out working with CCI I was out of breath quickly,” Andy admits.

“When I was in hospital, I was referred to Sharon, the stop smoking nurse. I was prescribed patches but I wasn’t ready to quit smoking then. It took me a few attempts with the service to quit and I quit smoking for good a year ago.

“My patches and lozenges were delivered every week and I’d put my patch on every morning. I used to smoke because I thought I needed it when I was stressed. Once I stopped the patches and lozenges I kept going with support from Sharon and I’ve not looked back.

“My fitness has improved and the gardening with CCI is easier now too, I didn’t think I’d be able to stop especially when I was at home myself. If I can do it others can too.”

The new smoke-free signs at NHS Lanarkshire hospital garden sites (NHS Lanarkshire)

Andy’s volunteered with CCI for nine years and knew nothing about gardening beforehand.

“It all helps with my mental health,” he continued. “I’ve got people to talk with in the group and I just got my strimmer and bush cutting license after a two-day course.

“Putting the smoke-free signs up around the hospitals with other patients was a good experience.”

Vicki Trim, health improvement lead Health & Social Care North Lanarkshire, said: “These gardens are a lovely and special space for inpatients, outpatients, hospital staff and visitors to enjoy the benefits of green health and being out in nature.”

Sharon Rankine, mental health nurse specialist – Quit Your Way, NHS Lanarkshire, added: “Having a diagnosis of any condition should never stop a client accessing our service. Quitting smoking is achievable, even if you have tried previously don’t let it hold you back from trying again, our specialist support is available when you’re ready.”

Quit Your Way can be contacted Monday – Friday from 9am until 5pm.

Call the Quit Your Way helpline service on 0800 84 84 84 or visit QuitYourWay.scot

You can also visit your local Community Pharmacy for FREE stop smoking support.

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