All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing Inquiry

19 July 2017

A substantial report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing was published on 19 July 2017, and presents the findings of a two-year political inquiry into the ‘powerful contribution the arts can make to our health and wellbeing’.

The report, ‘Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing’, evidences how arts-based approaches can help people to stay well, recover faster, manager long-term conditions and experience a better quality of life.

We are delighted this report has been published as it provides strong evidence and research to support the arts in health programme we have been running at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust for many years, and which we are now rolling out at West Middlesex University Hospital.

Our programme improves the hospital experience and clinical environment for our patients and their families. We achieve this through a wide range of activities which integrate arts into an acute healthcare setting. These activities include live music, dance, theatre performances and workshops for patients of all ages along with site-specific art and design throughout the built environment to create a better, healing environment. Our Care of Older People programme specifically aims to support our older patients. We bring music, art, craft and movement activities everyday to the wards to help improve social inclusion, auditory and verbal memory, mood, and visual awareness.

Art has been an integral part of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital since it was built in 1993, including the renowned ‘Acrobat’ by Allen Jones which was installed in the foundations of the hospital while it was being built. Since then, we have amassed a vast collection of paintings, prints, photographs and sculptures to display throughout the hospital.

We have also been evidencing the impact of arts in health since the early stages of our programme and we’re pleased to see our research study ‘A Study of the Effects of Visual and Performing Arts in Health Care’ referenced in this new report.

Trystan Hawkins, Director of Patient Environment, CW+ says: “CW+ has believed in the transformative role the arts and design have in healthcare settings for many years.  I am delighted that the links between arts and well-being are now centre stage and I look forward to how our work will become an integral component of health commissioning.”

We are now working on our exciting plans to redevelop and significantly expand the adult and neonatal intensive care units at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital to provide a first-class environment in which to treat patients. We will install bespoke lighting, acoustics and design will be used to reduce anxiety, delirium, pain and stress for patients and their loved ones.

Find out more about our Patient Environment and Experience programme here

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