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'Art attack' at London Road Community Hospital

Published 07/09/2015

A creative buzz has arrived at London Road Community Hospital, in the shape of three new arts co-ordinators.


The trio - Andrea Haley, Charlotte Convey and Helen Rodgers – have been recruited by Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to bring music, dance, drama and visual art to the city’s community hospital.


It is hoped that they will provide opportunities for patients to engage with different activities, express their individuality and enjoy a distraction from the illness which is keeping them in hospital.


Matron Meg Haselden said: “I’m hoping we will get something really vibrant and create a buzz around the place. I have a vision of different activities taking place here seven days a week.”


The co-ordinators will be leading a variety of workshops for patients. More able patients will be able to join group workshops, and bedside activities will be taking place for those who are not able to leave their bed or chair.


Mrs Haselden said she hoped the activities would help the many patients who have dementia.


She added: “We have already had a music and movement programme, and it was brilliant. The patients really engaged with it, and staff thought it was amazing as well. I want more of that; more music opportunities for singing. People with dementia may forget words in speech, and they are perhaps not able to converse, but they can often remember words in song.”


The new co-ordinators will work closely with the Trust’s arts charity, Air Arts, which manages arts programmes within the Trust. Andrea is already a lead artist for Air Engage, a project which aims to get patients involved in activities at the Royal Derby Hospital.


They will work with staff to help them develop ideas and run activities when the co-ordinators, who will job share over seven days, are not available.

Laura Waters, arts programme manager for the Trust, said: “They will be devising a daily creativity plan for patients, including music and movement, and arts and crafts workshops. The work will be part of the air arts programme so will be very much working in partnership with staff to ensure that activities complement and enhance ward routines and medical care. They will deliver some of the activities themselves but will also be looking for local creative practitioners to come in and deliver workshops to ensure a wide range of activities.”

The three arts coordinators said they were looking forward to getting stuck into their work at the hospital, which they all hope will improve the emotional wellbeing of the patients and help with their rehabilitation.

Andrea said: “Hopefully our work is going to have a huge impact. What I would like to happen is for arts and creativity to become embedded as part of the patient experience. I hope the arts model and the medical model can work together to improve patient health and well being and that we can have a positive impact.”

Their arrival comes shortly before the installation of a new art exhibition at the hospital, which will extend a display which has been on show at the Royal Derby Hospital for some time.

Arts coordinators
Last Modified 07/09/2015