Is this a waste of money?

I saw a few days ago that our local hospital has spent £31,000 on an ‘Outdoor Gym for Staff.’ This was part of the money donated by dear old Sir Captain Tom Moore.

I can’t put a picture up of it, but to me it looks just like those kids play areas in any local park, with brightly coloured metal things to climb on, sit on, and generally play about with.

I personally think this is a shocking waste of £31,000. Why an outdoor ‘gym’ for heavens sake? Surely over half the year it won’t even be used and will just be left to rust.
Who is going to use outdoor games quipment from perhaps September to at least March/April time?

If staff wanted a gym, surely they could have had an indoor structure, even a wooden one, or at a pinch, even a covered roof over the equipment would be a bit better than just stuck out in the open?
I think that is a dreadful waste of that amount of money, don’t you?


If it gets treated like most exercise equipment. It will get used for about a week, then people just hang their clothes on it. :smiling_imp: :smiling_imp: :smiling_imp:

I can only agree Mups, I sometimes wonder when they are ever going to put sensible people in charge of things instead of the morons that always seem to occupy the top table…

Agree Mups it seems to be a lot of money spent for the sake of spending

I can’t really assess the cost nor the way it was funded. I just noticed that a lot of gyms have built additional outdoor areas wherever possible because of Corona where members can work out in the open air rather than in small and stuffy indoor spaces.
Staff may have asked for the area to be set up. It’s hard to imagine that such an area was established without the consent of the staff. Perhaps they wanted to kill two birds: a recreation area and exercising in fresh air during breaks?

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A good idea, but expensive.

4,000 staff at the hospital, they need somewhere to go, get out for some fresh air.

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Forgot to say: I googled it and it’s Kettering General Hospital, one of the largest employers in Northamptonshire. Capt. Tom would have approved.


Forgot to say: I googled it and it’s Kettering General Hospital, one of the largest employers in Northamptonshire. Capt. Tom would have approved.

Yes, you’re are right dOOd, it is Kettering, or KGH as it is known around here.

I have found a link showing the equipment.
I still don’t think it will be used for half the year because of cold, or wet weather.
If you click on the faded ‘Kettering General Hospital NHS’ title, you can see the picture a little better.

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All the equipment is manufactured here and the supplier, Wicksteed does seem to be a reputable company Outdoor Gym Equipment | Our Products | Wicksteed

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I think it’s a good idea ,the equipment seems fit for the purpose .
The hospital staff need somewhere to let off steam while getting some fresh air


@Mups …it doesn’t look much but perhaps there’s a bit more to it: refreshments, somewhere to stand/sit out of the rain.

And it will be used all year round, when not raining, hopefully.


Kettering General Hospital spent £31,000 on an outdoor gym, so assuming it was them. I went & looked at the yearly national NHS staff survey for the hospital & it is doing well. It is around average on almost everything, so unlike many trusts, it’s getting it about right across the board.

Givn how the staff rate the hospital, it’s management & working at the hospital. I would say the hospital has probably got it about right. As it’s what they appear to normally do.

And having been to Wickstead Park as a kid. All I can say is. It is a pity they could not have had that, transplanted into the hospital grounds. It was a great day.

Just to add. Chelmsford also spent £31,000 from that same fund on an outdoor gym. So maybe it was a package deal?

I think outdoor gyms, fitness trails with equipment and pensioners playgrounds are a great idea

Pensioners playground

They give free exercise opportunities in the fresh air and in lovely settings and encourage people too self conscious or who can’t afford real gyms to have a little go

Very popular on in Europe but we are getting a few more here. And it’s not that expensive, wooden exercise equipment can be put along trails in the most ordinary local parks

The weather is a bit against us here in the U.K. but I’ve been to a few and they’ve been well used and well maintained, not rusty at all

If your hospital is the one I’ve read about then the Pocket Park and the Outdoor Gym are open to patients and the public as well as the staff.

What a lovely way to work off the stress and anxieties of the past year and a half, get people exercising and reduce obesity. I think Sir Thomas Moore would have liked it.

If it’s the Kettering one, then the fund also provided a drop in cafe for the staff and listening and counselling services

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These outdoor fitness stations are good, often seen and used in public parks.

Mostly metal construction designed for basic exercises, often used in circuit training running between stations stopping to a number of rep exercises.

There are draw backs, depending what type of stations were/are installed, I can’t see any being used by the majority of patients as part of a rehabilitation programme, usually these exercises use body weight, movement/bending, walking more a Calisthenics programme

For the Staff, the weather has been mentioned, the grass needs constant cutting, the grass wares around station, changing/shower facilities nearby for sweaty/muddy trainer, maintenance, even bird droppings brings about complaints, and not to mention Health and Safety issues

Was £31K well spent, time can only tell…… but the thinking behind the idea I am sure was well meaning

Good post, Marciniak.

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Thank you Mups…

Wollongong Council build these outdoor gyms in parks and along cycleways and they seem to be used a lot, I walk by a couple and there is always someone on them. I don’t use them myself but they seem quite popular.

Probably a good use of the money

Slight difference in climate though, Bruce!