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New hospital arts programme to get patients dancing

Published 15/05/2014

Artists are set to use dance, storytelling and shadow projection to help patients feel better at Derby Hospitals.

Air Arts, Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s arts charity, is drafting in a series of creative staff members at both the Royal Derby Hospital and the London Road Community Hospital.

Over the next two years, artists will fill eight long-term placements across the Trust’s hospitals, working alongside staff and patients to design new ways to creatively engage with patients, distract from boredom and support wellbeing.

The project is called Engage and has been funded with £70,000 cash from Arts Council England.

It is being launched across Derby Hospitals on Friday, May 16, with an event running across both Trust sites, showcasing some of the arts planned for the placements.

Drama therapist Jen Sumner will be working with staff and patients on the Royal Derby Hospital’s renal ward, engaging patients through storytelling and using interactive shadow projection.

And dancer Andrea Haley will be working with musician Lester Simpson at London Road Community Hospital, using music and dance to help stimulate patient’s memories.

Both projects will have weekly sessions running throughout the summer and their impact will be evaluated by staff.

Laura Waters, Engage project manager at Air Arts, said: “Engage project is a truly collaborative programme, with artists working together with staff and patients to develop exciting, creative projects designed to really make a difference to patients’ wellbeing and their experience of being in hospital.”

Last Modified 15/05/2014