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Hospital Rooms hold a gathering for staff and artists

Posted by Devon Partnership Trust in #ProudofDPT, Charity, Mental health, News on 12th November, 2021

Hospital Rooms, an arts and mental health charity, are working with us to commission artworks for Salus, Beech and Haytor wards. With the help of acclaimed artists, the charity will help to turn the clinical, austere hospital rooms in to spaces that are calming and welcoming for those people in our care.

The project has received £60,000 from the DPT Charity to go towards the funding of the work. Daniel Robson, Head of Charity Fundraising, says: "This is exactly what the charity is here to do, to support the enhancements of our services and environment for the benefit of patients and staff wellbeing. With charitable funds we are able to help facilitate needs over and above what the NHS is able to provide. By engaging with Hospital Rooms, an outstanding arts and mental health charity, our Trust will benefit from extraordinary artworks for our Torbay Wards".

On 9 November, the Hospital Rooms team met with staff, community partners and the assigned artists to learn more about each other’s work and discuss aspirations for the project. The aim is for the artworks to be installed on the wards early in the new year and staff are excited to see the finished works:

Jean-Paul Mentiply, Ward Manager for Salus Ward said: "We were fortunate to meet some of the artists involved in the Hospital Rooms project at the event held by the Hospital Rooms team. They are a committed and passionate group of people, who aim to effect positive change in mental health care through their artwork and the workshops that they facilitate within the ward environment.

"The themes explored at the Hospital Rooms event (with artists and clinicians) were the exciting prospect of a "blank canvas" that the brand new Salus Ward will provide, and some of the potentially interesting spaces for the artists to create their artworks. This will hopefully transform an otherwise clinical environment and help to make the ward a visually inspiring place that promotes positivity and recovery for all on Salus Ward."

Jo Black, Consultant, Perinatal, said: "The hospital rooms event was a great opportunity for the artists, ward staff and the wider community in Torbay to share thoughts and ideas.

"Art on inpatient wards provides space for conversation, debate, reflection, hope and inspiration- for staff as well as for patients. The process of creating the works in collaboration with folk who use services is exciting, and ensures their perspectives and creativity are embedded."

Lewis Powell, Ward Manager, Beech Unit, said: "We were so lucky to meet up with all of the artists at the event held by Hospital Rooms. The energy in the room was overwhelmingly positive and it was so nice for so many different people to be together in one space. We had lived experience representatives as well as attendees from the wards, artists, Devon Recovery Learning Community, Torbay Culture, charities and KIER (plus more!). All of the artists were so engaged, interested and excited about what it is we can create with our patients. I have always been a huge advocate of improving our ward environment and I am so happy we are able to work with Hospital Rooms to create some meaningful pieces of work to support patients in their recoveries. We had already held one workshop on the ward the day before the event and the uptake from our inpatients was incredible. The atmosphere was electric and the patients are so happy to be part of something that will help so many future patients."

Emma Gillard, Senior Nurse Manager, Haytor Ward, said: "We are all so pleased to have the opportunity to work with Hospital Rooms in South Devon. The art work will have a great influence on the environment and in turn, support our patients during their stay. Hospital Rooms do such amazing work for people using services and to be part of that really makes us proud.” 

The next phase of this project will be a series of creative workshops held by five of the fifteen artists with the help of Devon Recovery Learning Community (DRLC). Several workshops have already been running in Beech and Haytor wards but these additional sessions will involve the wider community. Further detail about these workshops will follow in due course. To sign-up to one of the workshops search for ‘Hospital Rooms’ on the DRLC website. You will then be able to view the course descriptions and request your booking.

Further information about the Hospital Rooms project can be found here.