PLAIN, white walls in the bays and side-rooms of spinal cord injury patients at Gobowen Hospital have been transformed to a view of the outdoors.

Most wards in the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital’s (RJAH) Midland Centre for Spinal Injuries’ (MCSI) rehabilitation ward, already have a view of Horatio’s Garden outdoors.

However some bays and areas which were without windows have now had large murals of the garden fitted onto plain white walls, bringing some colour to the rooms.

The murals were the brainchild of Kate Betts, physiotherapy rehabilitation technician on MCSI.

She said: “We’re so lucky to have our stunning Horatio’s Garden, and thankfully most of our patients get a glimpse of it from their bed or bay but there were a few, who didn’t and some had commented on that.

“It felt unfair, particularly as the vast majority of our patients have long stays, typically between six to nine months – and that’s a long time to be staring at a blank wall for.”

To bring the idea to life, Kate called on the skills of hospital photographer Nia Pritchard, who was very supportive of the idea.

She said: “Kate really wanted our patients to feel like they could reach into the murals.

“So, to create this immersive experience, I used a telephoto lens, rather than a typical wide angle lens.

“Doing this compresses the scene, creating layers and depth that would hopefully allow the viewer feel like they are within the garden rather than simply looking at a static photograph.”

The murals, which were funded by MCSI Charitable Funds, were installed last week by Now Group, based in Oswestry.

Kate added: “I’m so pleased with how the murals look and our patients in the bays and side-rooms have all commented on how fantastic they look, so it’s already making a positive difference to them.

“A huge thank you to Nia for her hard work and skills in bringing these to life, and to the Now Group for a professional job, as always.

“Thanks must also go to our patients too, who helped us decide on the images we would use.”

Horatio’s Garden, based outside MCSI, opened in September 2019, after an extensive fundraising drive and was part-funded by the hospital’s League of Friends.

Horatio’s Garden is a national charity that creates and cares for gardens in NHS spinal injury centres.