On Monday 13th June I was asked to contribute to an All Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing at the House of Lords.
The Arts and Healthcare Environments Round Table was chaired by Lord Crisp and was organised by Alex Coulter – “Alex has been Director of Art & Health South West since 2010. Before that she managed the Arts in Hospital project at Dorset County Hospital for 13 years. and worked as a free lance arts and health consultant in the acute and primary care sectors. As part of her role with AHSW she represents the region on the National Alliance for Arts, Health and Wellbeing and provides the secretariat for theAll Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing”. Arts & Health South West
“The Arts and Healthcare Environments round table is hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing. It is one in a series of round tables in which practitioners, academics, policy makers, those with lived experience and managers of services are invited to share their knowledge and experience with parliamentarians. The aim is to inform policy recommendations for the APPG’s Inquiry into Arts, Health and Wellbeing.
The integration of the arts into hospital environments is, arguably, the great success story of the arts and health movement in this country. Major initiatives, such as the King’s Fund Healing Environments programme and the work by CABE (the Commission for the Built Environment) and NHS Estates, in the 1990s and 2000s have had a significant and lasting impact. This round table will consider the critical success factors in this area of arts and health practice, how these might influence our thinking about policy for the wider arts and health sector, as well as consider what next for arts in healthcare environments. We will broaden the discussion to incorporate issues such as staff experience and retention, design of products and services, and the integration of gardens and horticulture into healthcare environments.” Alex Coulter
Gilly Angell, Expert Patient, UCLH Cancer Centre
Sir Quentin Blake, Artist
Paul Brooks, Associate Director of Patient Experience and Facilities Management, Derby Teaching
Hospitals and Laura Waters, Arts Programme Manager, Derby Teaching Hospitals
Clare Devine, Executive Director Architecture, Built Environment and Design, Design Council Cabe
Guy Eades, Director of Healing Arts, St Mary’s Hospital, Isle of Wight
Susan Francis, Programme Director for Architects for Health
Professor Fiona Sampson, poet
Dr Sue Stuart-Smith, Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist
Sally Thompson, Director Grampian Hospitals Arts Trust
Chris Tipping, Artist
Paul Williams, Stanton Williams Architects
Jane Willis, Director of Willis Newson
Following the round table we were all invited to celebrate the launch of Creativity and Wellbeing Week 2016 hosted by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity at St Thomas’ Hospital. “This national showcase of work in hospitals from across the country will offer an insight into some of the ways the arts can enhance the 21st Century hospital”.
I have worked as an artist within Healthcare Environments since the very outset of my career – so this was a very privileged opportunity for me to make a contribution to the debate and hopefully in some small way, to influence future policy for the better.
Also – this was my first time inside the Houses of Parliament ! I couldn’t believe I was standing in Westminster Hall –
My pictures are not so good – but the experience really was !
Westminster Hall is 900 years old – “The magnificent hammer-beam roof of Westminster Hall is the largest medieval timber roof in Northern Europe. Measuring 20.7 by 73.2 metres (68 by 240 feet), the roof was commissioned in 1393 by Richard II, and is a masterpiece of design”.