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"When we design and build a hospital, we are building a community. Every person within a hospital is a member of that community, with a role to play. Communities need spaces where they can work, eat, rest and play; where diverse populations can come together, to heal and recovery, connect, comfort and support each other. " - Victoria Jones, Arts Health Associates, www.artshealthassociates.com

Research tells us that the environment within which we deliver healthcare plays a vital role in health outcomes and the best contemporary healthcare architecture demonstrates clear understanding of hospital communities’ needs beyond the delivery of medical care, recognising the need to accommodate and encourage creativity.

The positive impact of the arts to improve physical, psychological and spiritual health and well-being is recognised around the world and includes the following benefits:

  • Reduced stress experienced by patients, families and staff
  • Reduced drug requirements
  • Decreased recovery times
  • Shortened hospital stays
  • Improvements in clinical outcomes
  • Enhanced quality of service provision
  • Improvements in staff job satisfaction and wellbeing and;
  • Improved healthcare experiences for everyone.

Jane Collins, previous CEO of Great Ormond Street Hospital, London was once asked by a major donor ‘Can we afford to have art in hospitals?’ to which she simply replied ‘We can’t afford not to have art in hospitals’.

Reference:Victoria Jones, Arts Health Associates

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