A Lifetimes Health Delivered Creatively

Healing Arts ISB8

Comprised of three Programmes;

‘Time Being Seven – TB7’

‘Time Being Two -TB2’

‘Time Being Stroke – TBS’.

Collectively the programmes were delivered over the period 2006 -2012 and were funded by H.M Treasury – Invest to Save Budget Round 8 in partnership with the Isle of Wight NHS Trust and delivered at health and public service venues on the Isle of Wight.

The aim of the project was to design and pilot the development of three programmes, with local research ethics committee’s approval, that demonstrated through quantitative and qualitative research data the contribution that arts and health practice could contribute to specific health care treatments and services and public health contexts. Through the design and publication of ‘Toolkits’ for each programme developed by the Healing Arts team the aim was that the programmes should be replicable and able to be developed by other commissioners and providers in their own contexts.

The objectives were to offer programmes that were designed to enable individuals - and organisations, to identify, understand, realise and enjoy in terms of personal practice, creative activities which they felt themselves could contribute to their present sense of health and wellbeing and to be able to take these forward as part of maintaining their continuing health and lifestyle.

The objective organisationally was to identify the operational conditions necessary and suitable for the effective delivery of the programmes, including resolving obstacles and barriers, and make recommendations for effective future delivery as part of health and public services.

Description of the arts activity

TBS was delivered in partnership with the clinical multi-disciplinary team - MDT of the acute stroke unit and ward of the IoW NHS Trust and the national stroke charity ‘Connect’. The aim was to develop an arts programme suitable to be delivered on a Hospital acute medical ward with the arts team integrated as part of the clinical MDT and to explore the organisational issues arising from this so it could be replicable on other acute hospital wards. Persons receiving treatment on the stroke unit were referred by the MDT onto the programme of six one hour sessions led by the arts team following stabilisation of their condition and prior to discharge. Persons selected their own creative interest to pursue in the sessions with the artists as enablers. The objective was through the sessions for the individuals engaging to address issues arising out of the trauma of their stroke and counter the potential for depression and loss of sense of wellbeing.

Evaluation methods and findings

‘Framework’ qualitative research modelling of in-depth interview analysis reported numerous benefits to person’s mental wellbeing, and the potential for addressing impediments to rehabilitation and discharge from hospital care. The Final Report and ‘Toolkit’ for the programme are available to be read on www.iow.nhs.uk/healingarts

Research articles on the work of ‘A Lifetime’s Health Delivered Creatively’ have been published in two Research Journals:
‘Collaborative local governance for arts and health: Learning from an arts programme for hospital-based stroke patients’.   

Journal of Applied Arts and Health. Volume 5, Number 1, 2014.
‘The meaning and value of taking part in a person-centred arts programme to hospital-based stroke patients; findings from a qualitative study.’        Disability and Rehabilitation Journal,  2012.

Supported using public funding by the Arts Council England