Oxford Health Charity has been proud to support the Artists in Residence Project through funding made possible by NHS Charities Together grants given during the COVID pandemic.  It truly reflects the thought behind the many donations that were given to NHS Charities Together and other NHS charities during that period – that those receiving or giving care deserve the best that we can offer. 

The Oxford Health Arts Partnership, Artist in Residence pilot project took place between June and December 2021 with six artists of varying disciplines engaged to work across six community hospitals in Oxfordshire, with the aim of enhancing the patient and carer experience through a variety of artistic activities across the six settings.  The project was independently evaluated by Helen Le-Brocq.

Key Findings: The project was universally appreciated and clearly provided a number of benefits.

For Patients:

  • Reduction in Isolation and boredom, creating enjoyment and pleasure– a recurrent and consistent theme.
  • Increased connection, openness and positive frame of mind.
  • Reduction in anxiety and lethargy, giving a positive sense of wellbeing.
  • Benefit to physical health as well as mental health.
  • Substitute for a sense of a more normal life and behaviours; providing a hope or anticipation of return to home and health.
  • Reduction in use of analgesics.
  • Connection to Childhood and Reflection on their Past experiences.
  • Spiritual or holistic care outcomes improved by the quality of attention and conversations.

For Hospital Staff:

  • Altruism and transferred joy. We see clearly that when patients are happy, staff are much happier in their duties.
  • Better Clinical Outcomes. The creative activities directly support the work of specialist clinicians such as physiotherapists and improves therapeutic outcomes.
  • Holistic and spiritual care. Ward staff appreciate the individuality of patients through their conversations and artwork.
  • Value for money. All staff agreed that the project offers value for money, whether releasing or including ward staff.
  • Improved working environment and atmosphere, positive feedback from patients
  • New Skills. Ward staff can include the creative activities in other areas of their work.
  • Better Feedback on I Want Great Care
  • Enhancement in environment and visitors’ interaction with their loved ones.

It is also notable that for the artists involved there were also several professional and personal benefits, including the development of listening and engagement skills, the ability to learn new techniques from clinical staff to improve health outcomes of patients, and responding to the emotional demands of working with such vulnerable patients. 

Read the full report here:- AiR Evaluation Report 2021