Hospital Arts: News round-up

As the link between the arts and wellbeing is increasingly recognised in the health service, BBH continues with its regular round-up of some of the projects happening across the UK. If your hospital or consultancy is currently involved with a project, please let us know

Guernsey artwork takes inspiration from the sea

ARTWORK has been installed in the radiology department of the Princess Elizabeth Hospital on Guernsey in a bid to help patients relax. Entitled 'Waves', the mosaic work is the creation of local artist, Linda Eva Martorella, and portrays the movement of the sea. She said: "My key objective was to create a peaceful and calming ambience for the patients waiting for radiology. Working with colours and materials which would communicate the essence of the sea led me to explore the light and movement in wave motion. I chose a selection of coloured glass for its refractive quality and its ability to convey the movement of water. The design has no definite beginnings or endings, reflective of the ocean's continuous ebb and flow." The artwork was installed following the recent deployment of new digital radiography equipment and after a patient satisfaction questionnaire called for improvements to be made to the atmosphere in the waiting area.

New hospital to host works by local man

My life's work is simply my heartfelt feelings for what has visually moved me in my life, and showing them on the walls of this hospital is one of the greatest privileges I have known

LOCAL artist, Harold Riley, is to host an exhibition in the corridors, wards and waiting areas of the new Hope Building at Salford Royal Hospital. A collection of 250 pieces has been prepared, made up of five collections on the themes of photographs, monographs, all-year views from above MediaCity, sporting images and portraits of people. Riley said: "My life's work is simply my heartfelt feelings for what has visually moved me in my life, and showing them on the walls of this hospital is one of the greatest privileges I have known." Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust's director or strategy and development, Simon Neville, added: "People may not imagine a hospital being a place for works of art, but we know there are strong links between art and health and wellbeing." The Hope building is being developed as part of a £200m hospital revamp project and will open in the autumn, housing a new A&E unit and critical care, urology, renal and intestinal facilities.

Dementia patients rediscover lost thoughts

ARTISTS are helping dementia sufferers rediscover lost thoughts and feelings through the creation of special life history works. Inspired by NHS Derby City's Patient Medicines and Communication Bag scheme, where people living with dementia are given ‘green bags' containing vital information about their condition to further improve care, artists from QUAD Derby have used their creative flair to encourage patients to share memories and relive defining life moments. Working with patients, families and their carers, the artists built on the A4 This is Me inserts included in the bag to design individual books that act as prompts for sufferers, enabling them to fondly reminisce about meaningful events such as weddings and anniversaries, food they like, and the hobbies they enjoy. Each book is tailor-made by the artist and the individual. Charlotte Convey of QUAD said: "We heard about NHS Derby City's green bag initiative and thought it was a fantastic idea. It also tied in nicely with work we were doing exploring issues facing people in the 50s-and-over community. Younger relatives also got involved in the project through web design and social media skills." She added: "Patients previously reliant on carers to relay information about their life were visibly changed using art. They could relive precious memories, which they were happy to talk about over and over again."

Art therapy for Scottish children

A SCHEME to introduce art therapists to Scotland's children's hospitals, funded by Lothian charity, The Teapot Trust, is being launched next month by NHS Lothian. The charity has raised enough to set up the trial at Edinburgh's Royal Hospital for Sick Children (Sick Kids) and hopes to reach its £100,000 fundraising target to also supply art therapists to Glasgow's Royal Hospital for Sick Children (Yorkhill) and the Rachel House children's hospice in Kinross. Janice Mackenzie, chief nurse at Sick Kids, said: "We are delighted to be working with the Teapot Trust on this project and have agreed to a six-week trial within the rheumatology clinic. We have a dedicated team of play specialists and the art therapists will be a welcome addition to this team."

Theatre show cheers up sick kids

No one likes to be in hospital, but for children that are ill in hospital during the summer, when their friends are out playing or going on holiday, it can be a particularly gloomy time

CHILDREN in the paediatric department of Portsmouth's Queen Alexandra Hospital enjoyed a pantomime performance of Aladdin this week, thanks to the Starlight Children's Foundation. Created exclusively for the charity by The Panto Company interactive theatre group, Aladdin allows sick children and their families to enjoy a performance from the safety of the hospital ward. Katrina Adams, the paediatric department's matron, said: "No one likes to be in hospital, but for children that are ill in hospital during the summer, when their friends are out playing or going on holiday, it can be a particularly gloomy time." Anne Ricketts, play specialist at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, said the pantomime was a welcome distraction for the children, especially those waiting to go into surgery. She added: "It's a distraction for the parents sometimes, too."

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