Path of positivity being built at Shropshire hospital to honour Captain Sir Tom

Open space on the large field, located behind Shropshire’s specialist orthopaedic hospital, is to be transformed into a tranquil, wellbeing path in memory of Captain Sir Tom Moore.

Kate Betts and Mark Brandreth, mark the start of creating the path
Kate Betts and Mark Brandreth, mark the start of creating the path

The path, which will provide an area of relaxation and reflection for staff, as well as patients and their loved ones, is being built at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital near Oswestry.

The wheelchair-friendly path will provide a calming space for staff members to enjoy their lunch or a place where they and patients can take a walk or a break outdoors. It will be named Captain Sir Tom Moore’s Path of Positivity.

Last spring, the nation was captivated by the late Captain Sir Tom Moore who raised £33 million for NHS Charities Together by walking 100 laps of his garden.

The hospital received a share of this funding and almost 60 per cent of staff wanted the wellbeing path.

Kate Betts, Physiotherapy Rehabilitation Technician on the Midland Centre for Spinal Injuries and Staff Governor, instigated the idea of the path in 2019, being funded by NHS Charities Together with support from the hospital’s League of Friends and the Trust’s Estates team.

Mark Brandreth, RJAH Chief Executive, said: “Captain Sir Tom Moore captured all of our hearts last year. This special path will be a calm area, outside the clinical environment, where our staff and patients can take a breather and have some brief respite.

Celebrate

“To honour Captain Sir Tom Moore and also to celebrate the hospital being on this site for 100 years this year – as well as the 60th birthday of our League of Friends and 40th year of the Orthopaedic Institute, we are pledging to plant 101 trees – the first of which has been planted to mark work to create the path getting underway. It’s one way we can promote sustainability on our hospital site.

Kate Betts said: “I’m absolutely thrilled that this idea is becoming a reality. Although our hospital field is stunning to look at, the path will enable our staff and patients to move amongst the trees and nature more easily.

“The path will be fully accessible for patients, who use a wheelchair, crutches or walking frame.

“Throughout the covid pandemic, staff members haven’t been able to have those same friendly corridor conversations which RJAH is so renowned for but thanks to the creation of this path, we will again. The path will be two metres wide, meaning everyone will be able to use it and chat in a socially distanced manner.”

Victoria Sugden, League of Friends Charity Director, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that Captain Sir Tom Moore’s Path of Positivity is to be built at the hospital.

“We know that the path will make a huge difference to the wellbeing of staff and patients, and we feel proud to have played our part in helping to make this idea a reality.”

In time, it is planned that benches and laybys for wheelchairs and patient beds will be installed, as well as areas where late members of RJAH staff can be remembered by their colleagues.

The contractor working to create the path is Henry Williams & Son, based in Wrexham. It has received support with reduced prices from a number of material and plant suppliers, including Jewson Wrexham Builders Merchants, Hanson Aggregates, Breedon Asphalt, Digga Rentals Plant Hire, and MP Paver Hire.

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