Art in Hospitals


 

When Mr Smith began his Clinical Fellowship in London, he saw examples of high quality art and design being displayed in the hospitals within Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. He noticed how uplifting an effect this had on him personally as his usual experience of hospitals until then was that despite being ‘state of the art’ for medical procedures and treatments, they were usually aesthetically sterile, dreary and depressing. He was so inspired by the potential link between the hospital environment and wellbeing for patients, visitors and staff that later that same year he decided to explore the link between art and hospitals further. To do this he undertook a one-year programme of night classes at The University of London (Birkbeck College) through which he obtained a Graduate Certificate in The History of Art and Architecture (with Merit). During this process Mr Smith completed a thesis examining the role of art in healthcare settings which can be viewed via the link on this web page.

Please click on the image above to view Mr Smith’s Thesis on ‘Art in Hospitals: The Third Culture.
art in hospitals
Mr Smith with the winners of a drawing competition that he organised for children who were patients in the hospital called ‘My time in hospital’.

If you would like Mr Smith to speak about art in hospitals or attend your arts event, please email jacqui.dunne@rlbuht.nhs.uk

What he found fascinating was that while there was mounting anecdotal evidence supporting the role of art and design in hospitals to create a healing environment, there was little to no ‘scientific evidence’ to validate this assumption. As the majority of decision making and resource allocation in the health care setting is performed using an ‘evidence base’, and because the effects of art and design are so subjective, Mr Smith realised that this made it potentially very easy to overlook the benefits of resourcing art in hospitals because other ‘statistically proven’ aspects of healthcare were perceived to have more importance. Mr Smith’s thesis went on to explore the rationale of scientific vs traditional ‘art historian’ means of analysing art and studied the emerging body of work assessing ‘evidence based design’. Mr Smith has since implemented his own ‘evidence based design’ projects in NHS hospitals and his work has been presented at The International Forum for Quality in Healthcare in London.

Mr Smith is currently the Chair of the Arts Development Group that oversees a large number of high profile local, national and international arts commissions for the new flagship Royal Liverpool Hospital that is in the process of construction. He hopes that this interesting and rewarding work will provide a stimulating and healing environment for patients, staff and visitors once it is built.

Please click on the image above to view Mr Smith’s Thesis on ‘Art in Hospitals: The Third Culture.

When Mr Smith began his Clinical Fellowship in London, he saw examples of high quality art and design being displayed in the hospitals within Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. He noticed how uplifting an effect this had on him personally as his usual experience of hospitals until then was that despite being ‘state of the art’ for medical procedures and treatments, they were usually aesthetically sterile, dreary and depressing. He was so inspired by the potential link between the hospital environment and wellbeing for patients, visitors and staff that later that same year he decided to explore the link between art and hospitals further. To do this he undertook a one-year programme of night classes at The University of London (Birkbeck College) through which he obtained a Graduate Certificate in The History of Art and Architecture (with Merit). During this process Mr Smith completed a thesis examining the role of art in healthcare settings which can be viewed via the link on this web page.

What he found fascinating was that while there was mounting anecdotal evidence supporting the role of art and design in hospitals to create a healing environment, there was little to no ‘scientific evidence’ to validate this assumption. As the majority of decision making and resource allocation in the health care setting is performed using an ‘evidence base’, and because the effects of art and design are so subjective, Mr Smith realised that this made it potentially very easy to overlook the benefits of resourcing art in hospitals because other ‘statistically proven’ aspects of healthcare were perceived to have more importance. Mr Smith’s thesis went on to explore the rationale of scientific vs traditional ‘art historian’ means of analysing art and studied the emerging body of work assessing ‘evidence based design’. Mr Smith has since implemented his own ‘evidence based design’ projects in NHS hospitals and his work has been presented at The International Forum for Quality in Healthcare in London.

Mr Smith is currently the Chair of the Arts Development Group that oversees a large number of high profile local, national and international arts commissions for the new flagship Royal Liverpool Hospital that is in the process of construction. He hopes that this interesting and rewarding work will provide a stimulating and healing environment for patients, staff and visitors once it is built.

art in hospitals
Mr Smith with the winners of a drawing competition that he organised for children who were patients in the hospital called ‘My time in hospital’.

If you would like Mr Smith to speak about art in hospitals or attend your arts event, please email jacqui.dunne@rlbuht.nhs.uk