Art in the healthcare environment

Art in Healthcare works directly with the Healthcare Providers in hospitals, healthcare centres, care homes, hospices and GP surgeries to improve the health and wellbeing of patients, visitors, residents and staff.

Art has a positive impact on health and wellbeing, in the prevention of ill health and as intervention to support treatment or provide an alternative to treatment for ill health. We bring art directly to people through our range of services from the provision of art from our collection to improve the ambience of the healthcare facility, to hosting art workshops for patients to raise self-esteem and confidence and encourage self-expression.

The benefits of art to health


The positive impact art has on health and wellbeing is widely documented and is becoming increasingly recognised on a global scale. Art enables a more holistic approach to health and wellbeing serving both individuals and communities. Here are some of the key benefits of visual arts in a healthcare setting:

Improve mental health
  • Create a welcoming environment for patients
  • Contribute to a more positive experience of the received care
  • Provide staff with a positive and pleasant work environment, shown to affect staff retention rates
Reduce negative emotions
  • Help reduce patients' symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression
  • Affect patients' perception of pain
Provide positive distraction
  • Distract patients from worrying about their illness or treatment
  • Make patients feel valued and help them to maintain a sense of dignity
Stimulate holistic healing
  • Support the view that physical and mental wellbeing are interconnected

NHS and Scottish Government strategic health aims


Art in Healthcare's aims are aligned with the NHS and Scottish Government strategic healthcare aims and we work continually to support and fullfil these goals. We act within the Scottish National Performance Framework, Creative Scotland's Ambitions and Priorities and key NHS Scotland Strategies.

  • Arts and health are, and should be firmly recognised as being, integral to health, healthcare provison and healthcare environments including supporting staff.
  • Arts and health initiatives are delivering real and measurable benefits across a wide range of priority areas for health, and can enable the Department and NHS to contribute to wider Government initiatives 1.
  • The Scottish Government recognises the value of cultural engagement and, simultaneously aims to improve public services and the quality of healthcare experience 2. Art in Healthcare responds directly to both needs and ties them together.
  • Art in Healthcare aligns with NHS priorities to provide a person-centred healthcare environment and to enhance health and wellbeing of the people living across Scotland.
  • Art and healthcare specialists observe a positive trend of healthcare facilities recognising and supporting the use of design, art therapy and other creative services to benefit patients and staff.

We work with healthcare providers to connect people personally to art, which in turn, has a direct positive impact on health and wellbeing.

Reference sources
1. Arts Council England, 2007 – A prospectus of Art and Health
2. Scottish Government, 2011. National Performance Framework.

Find out more

To find out more about using art in your healthcare environment call us on 0131 555 7638 or you can email us on admin@artinhealthcare.org.uk. Alternatively you can use our contact form by clicking on the button below.

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