Over recent years there has been a growing understanding of the positive impact that art and music can have on health and wellbeing - particularly in a hospital environment.

The Oxford Hospitals Charity Arts and Music Programme creates a more welcoming, calm and attractive hospital environment, engaging patients and visitors in creative projects as well as providing a more positive working space for staff.

During the corona crisis the arts community has shown its support for our hospitals with incredible auctions of paintings, prints and ceramics and a very special print from Adam Dant celebrating the life of Florence Nightingale.

Even during these difficult times the arts have an important role to play. Virtual concerts on wards are taking place with musicians performing to patients via tablets, and art has been brought in to the Respite Rooms the charity is creating - to help create a calm and compassionate environment.

We use the visual arts, performance, music and literature to improve our hospital environments, reduce stress and anxiety for those visiting and reduce boredom for those in hospital.

Arts projects are developed in close collaboration with staff to ensure they meet the specific needs of their patients - whether the aim is to create a calming atmosphere on a geratology ward, provide distraction for children, profile cutting-edge research through an artist's residency, or meet the needs of those with a specific medical condition.

There is now a wealth of research showing that the arts can provide real, measurable health benefits to patients. For example, studies have shown that music can decrease levels of depression, reduce the perception of pain and reduce the length of a patient's stay in hospital.

Creative projects with patients can alleviate boredom and depression, and a positive and uplifting environment can do much to improve wellbeing and distract, engage and bring pleasure to patients, visitors and staff.

The Artlink Programme, funded by Oxford Hospitals Charity, also supports art innovations for staff, such as singing to reduce stress.

To find out more about bringing the arts into a hospital environment contact:

Ruth Charity

Tel: 01865 234 921

Email: [email protected]

Visit: www.ouh.nhs.uk/artlink