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April 2022

Nurses lead innovative gardening projects

Twelve nurse-led projects themed on ‘Gardens’ and ‘Personalised care’ launched this month aim to improve the health of a community or local group using innovative approaches.

Seven of the projects are supported by The National Garden Scheme Elsie Wagg (Innovations) Scholarships, named after the Queen’s Nursing Institute council member who came up with the idea of opening private gardens to support the QNI in 1927. Other projects are funded by NHS England and Improvement as part of the personalised care agenda.

All of the projects will benefit from a year of support by the QNI’s Innovation Team and financial support to enable them to be brought to fruition. Learning from the projects with help inform future developments in community healthcare.

The projects range in scope from increasing nursing outreach to housebound patients with diabetes, to the creation of a ‘wellbeing’ garden at a primary care health centre.

Speaking at the launch of the new projects, George Plumptre, Chief Executive of the National Garden Scheme said: ‘These projects will have a very substantial impact, both through the process of delivering them and in the outcomes for individuals in the community. I am also delighted that the standard of applications was very high and far beyond our expectations. The Elsie Wagg Innovation projects have a key aim to bring the health benefits of gardens and gardening to people and families who may never have had a garden or been able to benefit from gardening before. The programme is also very timely as we work to address the continuing physical, mental and emotional effects of the pandemic. I believe this is part of a wonderful new chapter in the life of the National Garden Scheme and in our partnership with the QNI.’

Read more about all the projects at

Practice Nurse 2022;52(4):8