Access to, and participation in, the arts is an essential part of our everyday wellbeing, improving quality of life for patients, staff and visitors to North Bristol NHS Trust.
The arts can create healthcare environments that are welcoming, reassuring, stimulating and personal and that reflect the needs and values of the local community.
There is growing recognition of the value and impact of the environment, and the arts, on health and wellbeing.
Research shows that the use of the arts in healthcare can:
- Promote wellbeing and reduce stress
- Reduce lengths of stay
- Reduce the use of medication
- Reduce complaints and vandalism
- Reduce maintenance costs
- Deliver increased service user, carer and staff satisfaction
- Deliver an improved environment
- Promote greater care for the environment
- Create improved working conditions and staff retention
- Increase positive public awareness of issues around health and mental health
There is a growing body of evidence that proves the value and impact of the environment and the arts on healing. If you would like to find out more about how the arts can affect wellbeing download and read XXX
The national context
Better hospital environments & arts activities for patients are recognised and prioritised nationally, as well as at North Bristol NHS Trust.
The World Health Organization defined “health” as “a state of physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (WHO, 1946).
There are design guidelines produced by the government which make recommendations as to how to use design and art to create healing environments for patients. The government recommends that “Healthcare facilities should provide a therapeutic environment in which the overall design of the building contributes to the process of healing and reduces the risk of healthcare-associated infections rather than simply being a place where treatment takes place.”
They advocate for the integration of art into the environment to create “pleasant, varied and stress-reducing environments”.
If you’d like to know more, head to the Department of Health website at www.gov.uk/government/collections/health-building-notes-core-elements
the messages are clear – that arts and health have a clear contribution to make and offer major opportunities in the delivery of better health, wellbeing and improved experience for patients, services users and staff alike
the arts make a significant contribution to improving the lives, health and wellbeing of patients, service users and carers, as well as those who work in health and the arts