Arts on Referral

Our Arts on Referral is a 6 week arts programme offered to patients with chronic conditions.

The programme aims to support our patients to better manage their own self-care and to help them find ways of coping with their ongoing long-term health condition.

North Bristol NHS Trust, through Fresh Arts on Referral, is thought to be the first to pilot the Social Prescribing model in an acute hospital setting.

We are currently working with the following outpatient clinics to offer the following programmes:

  • Creative writing for cancer patients (through the NGS MacMillan Wellbeing Centre)
  • Chronic pain (through the pain team)
  • Chronic breathlessness (through pulmonary fibrosis, COPD, respiratory teams, and the Lung Education and Exercise Programme)

Our 6 week programmes of creative activities are led by an artist and delivered in our community arts room here at Southmead Hospital (or, during social distancing, to patients in their own homes via Zoom or What's App).

On completion of the programme, we refer our patients to activities in their local community in order to continue to support their wellbeing.  We work with our partners in the community to deliver these sessions remotely too, during social distancing.

“I have found this course to be the most effective and enjoyable support for my wellbeing. I was initially anxious about a group, but with excellent facilitator & support from the group, it has been very rewarding. I hope to continue writing.”

If you would like to be referred to an Arts on Referral programme, please speak to your clinician or contact the Fresh Arts Programme Manager on or call 07554 334 828.