Last week, we hosted a tea party for our older patients at West Middlesex University Hospital. We were joined by special guests from Teapigs who brought along bags of free tea as part of their annual birthday celebrations, Teapigs Free Tea Day.
The afternoon gave our patients the opportunity to leave their beds and spend some time relaxing, socialising and enjoying tea and cake with members of staff and fellow patients. Among the guests was 93-year-old Ada and her twin children Diane and Charles who spent some time listening to music, and chatting with Chief Executive of the Trust, Lesley Watts. Charles said: “Mum loved it here today and so did we, I can really see a difference in her from a fortnight ago!”
We were joined by classical vocalist Hetty Loxston and guitarist Miguel Luque, who entertained guests by singing some of the classics and making sure to take lots of requests. Artist and ceramicist Emily Hall led a very special Christmas craft session with guests, who got to make their own Christmas trees and paint winter scenes, all of which will contribute to our CW+ Christmas card this year, so keep your eyes peeled!
Hetty, Miguel and Emily visit our hospitals regularly as part of our Arts for All programme. We know that prolonged hospital stays can often result in stress, boredom and loneliness for patients of all ages. In partnership with staff, patients, artists and partners, we designed our Arts for All programme to provide meaningful cultural opportunities, which offer distraction, entertainment and social interaction to improve patient experience at our hospitals.
Delivered seven days a week, all our participatory activities are based on long-term artistic residencies. Artists are commissioned in collaboration with staff and patients at all stages and delivered in a range of settings including patient’s bedsides, ward dayrooms and outpatient clinics. For our older patients, these sessions use art and music to recall experiences and memories, allowing for social interaction and the chance to share stories.