First venture for Trust into Buckinghamshire Creative Arts Open Weekend improves wellbeing of patients and colleagues

Date: 10/08/2022 | Category: News 2022

At the end of July, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust organised several events as part of the Buckinghamshire Creative Arts Open Weekend. The aim of the events, which included music sessions, a story tree and a hospital visit from a caricaturist, was to improve colleague and patient wellbeing by providing access to the creative arts.

In order to support this work and further both patient and staff wellbeing, the Creative Arts Community of Practice was set up, bringing together colleagues from across the Trust who have an interest in the creative arts.

This year was the first year the Trust has participated in the county-wide Bucks Open Weekend.

On Thursday 28 July The Stroke Unit, NSIC and Adult Speech and Language Therapy ran events at Wycombe, Amersham and Stoke Mandeville hospitals:

The Stroke Unit organised an art and music session in their garden. One patient commented that ‘It made my day’.
The Adult Speech and Language Therapy Team organised an afternoon at Winchmore Hill Cricket club, just around the corner from Amersham Hospital, where stroke survivors, who have long-term communication challenges attended with their carers. There was pottery painting, a sing-along and miming session, as well as a story tree with inspirational quotes from the stroke survivors. Quotes included ‘If you want it make it happen the world is limitless!’ and ‘A smile is a good way to say hello!’
At Stoke Mandeville Hospital there was a queue all morning for the caricature artist, paid for by a generous grant from Bucks County Council. Volunteers, patients from Ward 3 and the NSIC, as well as colleagues taking a break at the Oasis cafe had their caricatures drawn. One member of staff said thank you “for making not only mine but my patients’ days. They absolutely loved their drawings and are still talking about it. It gave us a welcome break from the Ward.”

Alison Rimmer, Speech & Language Therapy Technical Officer at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “Living with the effects of a stroke or neurological condition can change someone’s life for ever. Coming to terms with this and moving ahead with one’s life involves a huge amount of determination and courage, and the benefits of creative arts in therapy can be immense. Not only do they help to address the various challenges presented by the physical condition, but they also provide so many opportunities for expressing emotions and reactions, discovering new talents, sharing company – and having great fun!”

The Trust’s Creative Arts Community of Practice is already planning to collaborate with more partners to make next year’s events even more impactful and beneficial to both patients and staff.