Getting 'arty' on the wards
A new arts project which offers a positive distraction and welcome relief for long stay patients is being run by the Patient Partnership Department within Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and has been generously supported by Sheffield Hospitals Charity.
A local artist and art therapist has been commissioned to run the project whereby patients on wards Q1 (Geriatric and Stroke) and Osborn 4 (Neurosurgery) have been tapping into their creative side.
The project is supported by the Trust’s activity volunteers, and involves working with patients who have a spinal cord injury or are receiving neurological rehabilitation. These regular art group sessions allow patients to break from the normal routine of the ward environment.
The project has received recognition from John Lewis, who agreed that the wonderful artwork produced would be displayed in the John Lewis café last Autumn. Following this, the artwork is now permanently displayed within the hospitals.
Often the patients involved have to stay in hospital for months on end and joining the art group offers a welcome relief. As part of the Nesta Helping in Hospitals project, funded by the Cabinet Office, our volunteers have used a Visual Analogue Scale to measure people’s mood before they joined in the activity and after the activity.
The results demonstrate that people did have a significantly improved mood after taking part in the workshop. Prior to taking part in the workshop, 35 patients scored their mood at an average of 6.2 out of 10. After taking part in the workshop, the average score increased to 8.1 out of 10. These results will form part of the analysis of the impact that volunteers have on patient health and experience, which are being reported as part of the programme.
Building on the success of this project, the Voluntary Services commissioned the artist to initiate a programme of arts activities for patients on other wards. Central to the project is the recruitment and training of a team of arts volunteers who will work with the artist to run these therapeutic and stimulating arts sessions. The long term aim is that these groups can be run by volunteers themselves.