North Bristol NHS Trust's music programme extended to include patient concerts

Friday, 20 February 2015

Patients at Southmead Hospital Bristol have been benefiting from the soothing sound of music.

As part of North Bristol NHS Trust’s music programme musicians have been playing in wards and departments to entertain patients.

The trust has also started holding monthly evening concerts for patients in the Sanctuary inside the Brunel building as part of an extension of its music programme. There are now three music events a month being hosted in the hospital with ambitions to expand it to a fourth.

Emily Wright and The Royals play to patients Southmead Hospital BristolThis week Emily Wright and The Royals performed in a series of locations around the building.

The jazz group kicked off its visit with a concert for patients on Monday. Patients were brought down from their wards to the Sanctuary by a special team of volunteers.

North Bristol NHS Trust’s Fresh Arts music programme, supported by Superact – a non-profit organisation that brings music and the arts into hospitals and other settings – also hosted Emily Wright and The Royals in the Medical Day Unit and Orthopaedic wards on Monday and Tuesday.

At Gate 26 the band played songs from yesteryear outside patient bedrooms and were joined by some patients who came out of their rooms to enjoy the songs they were playing.

One patient came out to sing along to Pennies from Heaven and a Fine Romance with Emily after hearing the music from her bedroom.

Fresh Arts Programme Manager, Ruth Sidgwick, said: “It’s just amazing to see the transformative effect of music on people, particularly complex care patients who we see physically open up. They smile and sing along and feel a part of something.

“One patient described the music programme as like having a bit of magic, changing the atmosphere on the ward. People go from being inwardly focused and possibly anxious to suddenly coming out of themselves.”

Ruth added: “The Sanctuary is a beautiful space for our patient concerts with all the colours of the glazing and the chaplaincy have been really supportive in agreeing for it to be used for all sorts of events that support the wellbeing of patients.”