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15 September 2021

New report reveals dedicated and imaginative creative work happening across the NHS

Read our new report - Creatively Minded and the NHS - for an overview of participatory arts work offered through the NHS across the UK to people with mental health problems.

We are delighted to publish the next report in our Creatively Minded series – Creatively Minded and the NHS. This new report  aims to highlight some examples of NHS organisations which offer people with mental health problems creative opportunities as part of a richer, more holistic approach to recovery, and to ask some initial questions about whether and how this work could be replicated and strengthened.

The report features 15 NHS Trusts from across the UK which offer a range of creative artist-led programmes in secondary care and primary care, to patients but also involving staff, and across many art forms.

It recommends:

  1. The Arts Councils of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland should consider the relevance of the strategic approach to collaboration with the NHS taken by the Arts Council of Wales to their national contexts.
  2. All Mental Health Trusts should employ an Arts Coordinator.
  3. Arts Coordinators in Mental Health Trusts should network both within nations and across the UK.
  4. And, similarly, Recovery Colleges should exchange good practice on arts and creativity through a network or conference.
  5. Mental Health Trusts should explore how Creative Arts Therapists and Participatory Artists can most productively share their differing skills and support each other to the benefit of patients.

The report was compiled by David Cutler, Director of the Baring Foundation and its Arts programme, and includes a foreword by Nesta Lloyd-Jones of the Welsh NHS Confederation.

Main image: ELFTin1Voice choir. Photo courtesy of East London NHS Foundation Trust.