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Nurses’ sunflower display highlights heart failure

Heart Failure team from Clementhorpe Health Centre with competition sunflowers

A sunflower display planted by nurses at Clementhorpe Health Centre has brought extra benefits by increasing the wellbeing of staff and patients.

Every year the heart failure team grow sunflowers from seeds purchased from the heart failure charity, Pumping Marvellous, for a national sunflower competition to grow the tallest, and this year the team were runners up.

In the process the team have found themselves gardening their way to good health with the addition of tomatoes, herbs and salad leaves.

Paula Smith, Heart Failure Specialist Nurse, said: “It started with sunflowers to help promote the Pumping Marvellous charity, but this year we have all discovered how tending the plants has brought feelings of calm and satisfaction to everyone involved. Gardening is well documented to be good for our mental health and even the non gardeners in the team felt this effect this year.

“So many patients and staff have said seeing the sunflowers made them smile before their appointment or the start of their working day. Even better, staff were delighted they could pick their own lunch - so fresh, tasty and healthy - helping our physical health.

“Watching the sunflowers grow has been a delight and quite the talking point for everyone at Clementhorpe. It has been a great way of getting to know staff in different teams better and has encouraged a lot of positive conversations, particularly with our own patients where it has opened up the discussion about heart failure.

“It’s really important we increase awareness around heart failure - what it is and, if it is diagnosed early, the many treatments which can improve survival rates, help alleviate symptoms and reduce the risk of hospitalisation. The more people know about heart failure brings hope of better diagnosis and management of this condition.”

Anyone with concerns about the symptoms of heart failure should contact their GP. Find out more about heart failure by visiting

20 October 2022

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Anyone with concerns about the symptoms of heart failure should contact their GP.

Looking down a long bright hospital corridor with treatment rooms on the left and windows on the right. At the bottom of the corridor is one member of staff in a blue nursing uniform

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