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Stroke patients benefit from creative art activities at Derby Hospitals

       21 August 2012

Using creative arts is helping patients on the stroke rehabilitation unit at the Royal Derby Hospital improve both their physical and mental abilities and provide them with opportunities to relearn skills that may have been lost due to their stroke.

The art activities are being led by the Trust’s occupational therapy team with help and advice from ceramist and artist, Elaine Lim-Newton. Elaine has been delivering a variety of art activities, on a weekly basis, in the day room of the stroke rehabilitation unit including moulding clay, creating small tiles and motifs, to paper craft, collage work, colouring in, making flags and weaving.

Karen Fellows, senior occupational therapist, said: “Stroke affects people in different ways and can have an impact on a person’s mood and also their memory and concentration. The art group has received really positive feedback in terms of lifting our patients’ moods. It has been a means of delivering therapeutic activities for the difficulties patients may face after stroke, in an enjoyable social environment away from the ordinary routine of being in hospital.”

Lisa Bailey, therapy assistant from the stroke rehabilitation team, has been assisting patients in the art sessions and said: “Getting patients involved in the art class has helped with their upper limb therapy, their concentration and with visual perception problems. It has also helped to alleviate stress and promote a sense of well being,which can help aid their recovery and rehabilitation.”

These ‘hands on’ art sessions are held once a week and patients on the ward can just drop-in for a short while or stay for the whole two hour session.

Stroke patient Anne Wilkinson, from Littleover, said: “I have never done anything like this before, but today the artist Elaine has shown me a weaving technique called ‘Ojo de dios’, using two sticks, which I am thoroughly enjoying. Having something to do like this on the ward is so nice and I’m enjoying chatting to the other ladies and helpers too. I have been on the ward for two weeks now and the staff have all been incredible.”

Artist Elaine Lim-Newton said: “I have been working with the occupational therapists to develop a range of arts and craft activities that can be used by patients on the ward in the future. As well as the weaving and ceramic work, patients have been working on a large summer scene collage which we are hoping to join together and display on the ward.”


For further information, please contact:

Liz Smith

Communications Officer
Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
01332 785778