Art in hospital

Help us to introduce live art programmes for our patients and create exhibitions to improve our hospital.

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We are delighted that in 2023, the Charity launched an arts programme for University Hospital Southampton.

This will bring together live arts programmes for patients and staff alongside permanent and temporary art exhibitions to improve the hospital environment, creating less clinical settings, and reduce anxiety.

Having these creative spaces is crucial to enhance patient care through the transformational power of art.

Workshops and art programmes for groups and individuals

We have introduced mental health art programmes for patients of all ages right across our hospitals, including for our hospital staff. This includes music therapy, and wellbeing sessions using clay, paint, and print mediums through a series of workshops.

These art packages will be offered to patients interested in individual art activities, our long-term patients, or those who have been in isolation for a long period of time.

We recently funded a series of clay workshops and watercolour sessions for our dementia patients, run by tutor Jo Bressloff. These were adjusted and developed to accommodate the abilities of, and the preferences expressed by, the participants taking part.

Barbara Smith, Lead Matron for Medicine for Older People, commented on the difference the workshops are making: “The participants are really enjoying the workshops. Seeing the amazing ideas they have come up with and the final pieces are so inspiring. We can’t wait to run more workshops like this in the future, and to bring more art to University Hospital Southampton.”

This summer we are also introducing a series of workshops to the Teenage Cancer Unit, inviting a team of outstanding and experienced artists to create sessions tailored for our patients.

Cath Jordan, Head of Charity Communications & Art at Southampton Hospitals Charity said: “Everyone on the ward has been so impressed with the workshops. For dementia patients on Bassett ward, this type of workshop can be a transformative experience, allowing individuals to tap into their creativity and express themselves in a unique way.

“Working with clay also provides a sense of purpose and accomplishment, which can help boost mood and improve overall wellbeing. As a team, we do all we can to support our patients and I’m proud that our Trust is able to offer this activity to enhance care.”

Enhancing areas through artwork

A part of our art programme in hospital is creating a more pleasant and soothing environment for patients, visitors, and staff at Southampton hospital. Our goal is to reduce the clinical atmosphere by bringing art into the wards and units, transforming these spaces into a place for comfort and healing.

One significant initiative we have undertaken is the introduction of artworks into the Nuclear Medicine Unit (part of our Radiology Department). We have been able to purchase stunning pieces of art from professional artists across the UK for the waiting areas, scanner rooms, injection rooms, and blood test stations.

By surrounding them with beautiful and engaging artworks, we aim to alleviate their fears and promote a more positive healing experience.

Additionally, we have commissioned and purchased numerous artworks and murals for the newly built staff Wellbeing Hub. This hub serves as a sanctuary for our dedicated and hardworking staff, offering them a much-needed respite from their demanding and fast-paced responsibilities within the hospital.

Through the power of art, we strive to create an environment that nurtures their wellbeing and rejuvenates their spirits.

Art installation and digital exhibition

On 5 July 2023, the NHS celebrated its 75th birthday where we displayed our ‘75’ art installation. This bespoke piece of art commissioned by Southampton Hospitals Charity, was created by local artists Joe Ross and André Lewis and features UHS in photographic form over the last 75 years.

Beneath the artwork was a digital exhibition to look back at some of the key moments in the history of our Trust and celebrate those who made those moments happen.