The Rt Hon Stephen McPartland

Stephen McPartland, Member of Parliament for Stevenage, planted a tree at the Lister hospital on NHS Sustainability Day as part of the NHS Forest project.

Stephen said, "The NHS Forest project will provide direct benefit to staff, patients and the community by helping create a local green space that patients, their families and staff can all enjoy for rest, relaxation and even exercise. Over 17,000 trees have been planted by 100 active sites, and contains small woods and copses, across the country with the aim of planting 1 tree per NHS employee. Research has shown that improved access to green space can aid patient recovery time; reduce stress at work; provide areas for relaxation; provide an opportunity to exercise and help bring communities together. I am proud that the Lister Hospital is taking part in the project and was pleased to help plant a couple of the trees myself."

The NHS Forest, run by the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare, is a pioneering project to engage people on the common ground between their personal wellbeing and wider environmental concerns. The long-term goal of the project is to bring health, educational, social, and environmental gains to members of each local community, including NHS patients and staff. NHS Forest is supporting NHS Sustainability Day, an international event aimed at healthcare organisations taking action on climate change. Sites across the UK are planting trees, improving biodiversity to even the inner most city sites and increasing resilience to climate change for future generations.