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About the Arts in Health Service

About the Arts in Health Service

The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust’s Arts in Health Service delivers a range of quality arts projects to benefit our patients, staff and the wider community.   Participation is at the heart of our work – we involve patients, staff, relatives, carer representatives and the local community.

The Arts in Health Service supports The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust’s vision to strive continuously to improve patient experience and outcomes.  To achieve this, the Arts in Health service includes:

  • Providing enjoyable visual, performing and participatory arts activities to hospital patients to promote well-being and support recovery.

  • Introducing artworks into the hospital environment to transform the experience of being in hospital for patients, staff and visitors.  Research evidences that art in hospitals can contribute to creating a calm, welcoming and reassuring hospital environment.

  • Forging links with the local community by working in partnership with a range of local organisations and local universities, colleges, schools and individuals.

The Arts in Health Service receives charitable funding and grants from a range of organisations who support the arts. 

In 2008/09 The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust treated more than 670,000 patients at hospital and community sites across the West Midlands.

The Trust Charity (Registered Charity Number 1059467) has an Arts Fund which can receive donations from individuals who are interested in supporting our key on-going arts in health projects

Benefits of Arts in Health to our Patients
Arts programmes are considered as valuable in contributing to creating a therapeutic healthcare environment.

The British Medical Association published a report in 2011 called ‘The Psychological and Social Needs of Patients’.  In this report it is identified that one of the purposes for art in the hospital setting is to play a role in supporting provision of patient-centred care, in particular contributing to meeting patients’ psychological and social needs to provide emotional support.  

Throughout this report are references to research about arts in hospital settings which evidences positive effects on patients.  Provision of arts activities for patients to participate in, is outlined as an appropriate approach to contribute to providing a good patient experience, along with incorporating art into the patient environment to create a healing environment.

“Arts and humanities programmes have been shown to have a positive effect on inpatients. The measured improvements include:

  • inducing positive physiological and psychological changes in clinical outcomes
  • reducing drug consumption
  • shortening length of hospital stay
  • promoting better doctor-patient relationships
  • improving mental healthcare”

British Medical Association Science and Education. The Psychological and Social Needs of Patients. British Medical Association, 2011. P9. 

Report available from http://www.bma.org.uk 

Arts in Health across the UK

There is a national alliance for Arts, Health and Well-being in the UK. This involves organizations across the UK working together with support from Arts Council England to develop a new national voice for arts and health.

There is a web site which provides a wealth of information about this development, defines what arts in health is all about and includes a range of resources and inspiring case studies. http://www.artshealthandwellbeing.org.uk

Contact Details: Arts Manager | Email: rwh-tr.Arts@nhs.net | Tel: 01902 307999
A Teaching Trust of the University of Birmingham