The Arts Team at York Teaching Foundation Hospitals Trust.

Table displaying a variety of musical instruments

The challenge.

The Arts Team at York Teaching Foundation Hospitals Trust engaged Innovate Educate Ltd to evaluate a Pilot Creative Arts Programme of activities in the Stroke Rehabilitation Wards, at York Hospital and Scarborough Stroke Unit. There is an increasing interest in the role of arts in medicine and the Trust is exploring arts engagement. Artists have worked in hospitals for many years but rarely has their work been evaluated.

Skillset.

  • Desk research
  • Literature review
  • Project design
  • Semi structured interviews
  • Observation
  • Report writing

What we delivered.

This evaluation project explored:

  • The challenges and benefits of establishing a creative arts offer in the two settings
  • The potential for the arts to contribute to the work of multi-disciplinary teams supporting patients towards recovery
  • The areas where the offer of creative arts can have the greatest impact
  • Whether it is appropriate to continue to support the offer of creative arts intervention after the three-month pilot period.
Photograph reproduced by kind permission of Great Place Lakes and Dales.
man thoughfully considering a questionnaire
Photograph reproduced by kind permission of Great Place Lakes and Dales.

This type of evaluation is very difficult for a number of reasons. Patients are the chief beneficiaries of interventions but often not able to provide feedback because they are a transitory population or because of how their condition affects them.

This project relied on feedback from artists and hospital staff. What seems to be a very simple request, asking for artists to work on the ward is actually complicated and difficult. It presents challenges but also huge rewards. The main challenge is how to work with patients on the ward.

Outcomes.

The report has highlighted a number of areas for the Arts Team to focus on. It is informing practice around recruiting artists, working with ward staff and the types of intervention that are appropriate for different conditions.