New garden marks Charing Cross 200th anniversary

Patients at Charing Cross Hospital will benefit from a specially designed new garden opened to mark the hospital’s 200th anniversary this month.

Funded by Imperial Health Charity, the garden has been created for patients with dementia, as well as those recovering from a stroke or suffering from another neurological condition.

Jo James, Lead Nurse for Dementia at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “The garden will benefit so many of our patients. Until now we had nowhere safe and secure for patients to go outside, to feel calm or enjoy sitting in the sun.

“Using hospital gardens has been shown to improve patients’ mental health and wellbeing, so to have our very own garden at Charing Cross will transform the hospital experience for our patients.”

The comedian Mark Thomas, who spent several days with the Trust’s dementia team while researching his latest stand-up show reflecting on 70 years of the NHS, is supporting the garden as its Patron.

“I was amazed by the close personal care and attentiveness shown by the dementia nurses,” he said. “The team here at Charing Cross go above and beyond what is expected of them and they are a credit to the NHS.

“The garden is going to make such a big difference to patients.”

Founded as the West London Infirmary in October 1818, Charing Cross Hospital has been marking its bicentenary with a series of events for staff and patients this month.

Next Tuesday, 30 October, the hospital will showcase its services to the public in a mini open day from 3.30pm to 6pm to which everyone is welcome.

The public will be able to take a behind-the-scenes tour of some of the hospital’s key services, as well as a history-themed tour, along with an opportunity to visit the new garden, receive a health check and enjoy entertainment and other free activities.

A special kids’ zone will offer activities including face painting and puppet making, and colleagues from the fire brigade will be bringing a fire engine for children to explore.

Meanwhile, a recruitment zone on the first floor will showcase current job opportunities and there will be education talks in the Mary Cochrane lecture theatre.

Performances in the hospital foyer include a local primary school choir and a dance act as well as the staff orchestra, Medico.

Find out more about the Charing Cross Hospital open day here.

Imperial Health Charity is continuing to raise money to enhance and improve the garden for many years to come. To find out more or to make a donation, visit