Air Arts have cause to celebrate!
The arts programme at Derby Hospitals is managed by HCP employee Laura Waters and is supported by HCP through Derby Healthcare plc (DHC). Many UK hospitals have arts programmes, but the arts programme at Derby is uniquely placed within the PFI contract which enables a more creative approach to the work done by the team at Derby, and brings an extra positive dimension to the relationship between the Trust and PFI provider.
The team at DHC work closely with Air Arts to make the most of opportunities to bring added value to schemes and lifecycle works from an arts perspective. During 2017, Air Arts redesigned the Children’s hospital theatres and x-ray departments in partnership with Derby University and created a staff remembrance garden, both projects being delivered in partnership with DHC and the Trust. 2018 will see Air Arts working with DHC and the Trust in the redesign of A&E services and the Nightingale Macmillan cancer unit. DHC staff give their time every year to help with bi-annual installations of over 300 works of art as well as ongoing maintenance of art works. They also regularly input into artistic planning and art schemes to ensure that projects dovetail with, and enhance lifecycle works.
This ongoing support and commitment from Derby Healthcare and HCP has enabled the arts programme to really flourish over its ten year history from a purely visual arts exhibition programme into a full arts programme including music performances, poetry publications, craft workshops, storytelling and drama sessions, dance and movement workshops, photography clubs, departmental enhancements, sculptures and public art commissions.
Air Arts is highly regarded nationally as a leading arts in hospital programme. Laura was asked to contribute to a recent parliamentary inquiry report published in July 2017, which made recommendations for the arts to be integral to all healthcare projects and to be championed by all healthcare providers at board level. This year, Laura has also established a national network of UK hospital arts manager to help promote best practice in arts and health nationally.
Air Arts has been shortlisted for several national awards in 2017, including NHS Regional Celebrating Success, Building Better Healthcare and Patient Experience Network.
We have presented our work and programme at national conferences and published articles in national arts and health magazines.
As the arts programme is administered through the hospital charity, the programme is also able to add value by levering public funding through Arts Council England and the Big Lottery to deliver more and more opportunities for taking part in activities. 2017 was the year in which we won the Big Lottery’s People’s Project competition bringing in £50,000 worth of additional funding to enable creative activities to take place on wards for head injury and dementia. This has provided great positive publicity for both the Trust and DHC and also provides additional opportunities for strengthened partnership working through the effective delivery of the project.
Our ability to access additional public funding and to effectively deliver successful nationally recognised arts projects is only possible through the strong partnerships and collaborative work which underpins the programme. We are looking forward to developing new exciting projects with DHC in 2018 and beyond.