Beautiful art installed to improve healing and wellbeing

“Art is a form of love. Art is the ultimate gift. Art heals life.” Robert Genn. IMG_3586_editforweb

At BSUH NHS Trust, we believe that art contributes to healing and wellbeing. That’s why we have a permanent art programme called Onward Arts supported by the BSUH Charity. The Onward Arts programme improves the experience of patients, visitors and staff by creating a healing hospital environment for all.

Onward Arts have brought a variety of projects to the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, St Mary’s Hall, the Renal Unit, the Dementia Ward, and many other areas. It’s most recent project has involved installing a large number of paintings in three areas across the Royal Sussex County Hospital.

Staff in the Intensive Care Unit, Maternity Department and Audiology Department responded to a general interest inquiry. The teams worked with Anna Barnes and the Onward Arts team to select paintings and locations where art and healing would most help improve patient and visitor experience.  Thanks to charitable donations to the BSUH Charity, Onward Arts has been able to register for a 2-year loan scheme through Paintings in Hospitals. The scheme has provided 18 paintings for the three areas which were happily accepted by the teams on the 19th April.

“We are thrilled to be able to install such wonderful works of art for our patients, visitors and staff to enjoy in these three areas. Working with Paintings in Hospitals offers us a variety of art and creates custom collections based on the location of the installation. We are looking forward to the feedback we’ll get about improved experiences, and we hope to provide more projects like this across all of our wards and departments,” shared Anna Barnes, Vice Chair of Onward Arts and Associate Director for Governance for 3Ts.  “In particular, the impact in some of the ward-based quiet rooms which are windowless (and used by visitors who are often experiencing severe distress) cannot be underestimated.”

IMG_3595_editforwebFuture projects that Onward Arts are working on include art within the refurbished Urgent Care Centre, the Oasis within the Children’s Hospital Alex and replacement of deteriorating arts works within Princess Royal Hospital. We also hope to continue our photographic record of the RSCH site as it changes (being undertaken by Darren Baldwin, a nurse at the Children’s Hospital).

The Department of Health and Arts Council England has asserted that the arts have an important part to play in improving health and wellbeing. The Onward Arts programme aims to make it better for patients through more holistic care which includes art.

Help the BSUH Charity continue to provide holistic care and support for our patients and visitors by donating to the Onward Arts programme today. Donations can be made by following this link and selecting ‘Donate Now’. Please be sure to include a note that you would like your gift to be used for Onward Arts.

For questions or more information, contact the BSUH Charity at 01273 665012 or

Further information about Paintings in Hospitals:
”Paintings in Hospitals uses art to inspire better health and wellbeing across the UK. We create care spaces that encourage, enrich and empower millions of people every year.

Established in 1959, our charity is now the UK’s leading arts in health organisation. Six decades of experience and expertise has enabled us to develop a unique art collection of over 4,000 original works, alongside art projects and engagement activities that transform the experiences of patients, service users and staff.

We know that art contributes to the healing process and we continually evaluate the difference our work makes across a range of settings, including hospitals, hospices, care homes, GP surgeries, cancer centres and special needs schools.

Paintings in Hospitals is recognised by the Department of Health, NHS and Arts Council England as a leading provider of arts in health services. We are the health partner of Arts Council Collection and have recently worked with national museums and galleries, such as the V&A, The Wallace Collection and The Contemporary Art Society (London & Wales).”