The CW+ Studio is a bespoke multi-functional space situated on Level 2 at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. This flexible space acts as a base for the expansion of our award-winning performance and participatory programme Arts for All, and enables the programme to be accessed by the wider hospital community.
The CW+ Studio was completed in March 2020 and the space was equipped to become a hub of cultural activity for our hospital community. However, at the onset of the pandemic, our in-person participatory arts programme moved online, and we decided to temporarily transform the area into a wellbeing hub for our staff, open 24 hours a day and providing a welcoming environment for staff to relax, reflect and refuel.
The CW+ Studio was designed and built according to accessibility and design principles set out in our Design Standards Guide, as well as those governing good practice in building better environments for patients and staff. Working with Ensigna Construction Ltd, we have achieved a design that delivers the following key elements:
- Dementia-friendly design
- Wheelchair accessibility
- Meets hospital requirements – disabled toilet, air handling, fire safety
- Adjustable lighting
- Integrated sound system
- Kitchen facilities
- 100 square metres of dedicated floorspace to facilitate group workshops and events
The space has the capacity to host a full range of activities and support the delivery of patient and staff facing sessions led by musicians, visual artists, creative movement specialists and art psychotherapists.
As we emerge from the pandemic, the CW+ Studio will initially launch with a hybrid programme of online activities and events alongside small-scale ‘live’ participatory events, programming, and workshops. This will build into a full activity programme in line with COVID-19 guidance.
The CW+ Studio will become a hub of creativity and a space in which we test and develop new programming with our artists and cultural partners. Long-term, it will host a varied programme including artist/musical residencies, health related support groups, and carers support for our inpatients, outpatients and hospital community. Our ambition is to offer the best care during a hospital admission and to support people to stay well in their communities once discharged, by fostering healthy ageing and encouraging social engagement.
The space will be used for:
- Non ward based sessions of the Arts for All programme
- Rehabilitation sessions with therapy teams
- Community outreach
- Support groups for carers with clinical and community partners
- The delivery of a new social prescribing scheme in partnership with community partners and stakeholders
- Clinical sessions by art therapists and music therapists
- Counselling sessions for patients and families
The overarching aim of the CW+ Studio is to deliver an engaging, inclusive, active and connected programme that will have far reaching health and social benefits for participants and the communities in which they live. Through a co-designed community approach, we expect to reach 24,360 residents (inpatients and outpatients), over 7,000 carers, through 1,128 activities over three years.
In order to carefully evaluate the impact of the CW+ Studio and our arts programme, we are working with the University of Exeter College of Medicine and Health, on an evaluation framework to research the impact on the health and social outcomes for our community, using a pragmatic mixed methods approach to address the impacts of creative engagement and to ensure full participation for those who may experience challenges in communication.
We are also working with the Centre of Performance Science to put together a collaborative PhD studentship to the London Arts and Humanities Doctoral Training Partnership. This studentship will focus on the impact of the CW+ Studio and Community Bridge programme.
Underpinning all our work is an objective to grow a robust body of evidence that clearly demonstrates the impact on patient outcomes, care delivery and the cost effectiveness of our work.