National Garden Scheme launches new report on the contribution of care charities to healthcare

Categories: Care and Research.

Today the National Garden Scheme launches a new report into the contribution of large charities to shaping the future of community nursing and healthcare in the UK.

It focuses on the work of six well-known charities, all of which are supported by substantial annual funding from the National Garden scheme.

The charities are: the Queen’s Nursing Institute, Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Hospice UK and Parkinson’s UK, all of which receive annual donations from the National Garden Scheme (NGS) and the MS Society which was its guest charity for three years 2016-18.

The report explores the NGS’s unique contribution to community nursing and healthcare since its foundation by the Queen’s Nursing Institute in 1927.

George Plumptre, Chief Executive of the National Garden Scheme said:

“We are confident this report will make a substantial and timely contribution to the current debate about community nursing, health and care. There is universal agreement that substantial change is required, there is far less agreement, however as to how that change should be achieved. The report’s content provides some powerful examples of what is possible by highlighting what our beneficiary charities are actually doing now.”

“At the same time the report will provide a lasting, tangible confirmation of the remarkable – but little known – contribution of the National Garden Scheme for many decades, as a significant and continuous funder of various national nursing and health charities.”

After setting out the scale of the contribution by charities to community health and social care the report examines three key areas focused on by beneficiary charities: community services, end-of-life care, and specialist care for long term conditions which together account for a substantial proportion of community health and social care. The report then sets these three into the context of national policy.

Mr Plumptre added:

“The report concludes that we need to think differently about the strategic role that large charities can play in the design and delivery of health care. The case studies illustrate how charities are in a strong position to understand people’s needs and design services around them.”

Dr Crystal Oldman CBE, Chief Executive, Queen’s Nursing Institute was among those from the beneficiary charities to comment on the new report.

“The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) welcomes this report which explores and showcases the unique contribution of nursing charities to the health and wellbeing of people in their communities. Through funding from the National Garden Scheme, the QNI supports over 1200 Queen’s Nurses providing nursing care for individuals who are frail, have multiple long-term conditions or who are at the end of their lives. This support from the National Garden Scheme means that people receive high quality nursing care, delivered by expert community practitioners.

“As the report so clearly shows, this financial support from the National Garden Scheme contributes to the success of the NHS in so many ways – and there is much that might be learned and replicated from the skills and operation of the QNI and other national nursing charities.”

Matthew Reed, CEO at Marie Curie said:

“The generosity of the National Garden Scheme in working collaboratively with the other charities is tremendously important. The value of this report demonstrates the impact that the grant has had on developing the workforce involved with end of life care in the community.

“The current and future workforce challenges are significant and will rely on agile and innovative ways of developing and deploying our workforce to optimise access for people needing palliative and end of life care in the community.”

Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive of national hospice and palliative care charity Hospice UK, added:

“As this report highlights, the NGS’s beneficiary charities are actively tackling gaps in health and social care through new and creative approaches which are already delivering marked improvements and which have the potential for much wider impact.

“Given the UK’s growing ageing population and with mounting pressures on GP services and hospitals, it is clear that care charities have much more to contribute to the NHS in supporting it to meet the considerable challenges it currently faces and helping to shape the future development of care.”

Thanks to the generosity of garden owners, volunteers and visitors, the National Garden Scheme is the most significant funder of nursing charities in the UK –having donated £58 million over the last 92 years.

To read the report visit Investing in quality