*NEW OPPORTUNITY* Artist Brief – Spinal Injuries Department

Spinal Injuries Foyer Art Commission



Spinal Cord Injuries Centre

The Princess Royal Spinal Cord Injuries Centre (PRSCIC) is a 60 bed supra-regional unit located on the Northern General Hospital site. PRSCIC provides care, rehabilitation and outpatient services for patients who have suffered a lesion to their spinal cord, either as a result of a traumatic incident or from a non-traumatic occurrence. The Princess Royal is one of 11 SCI Centres in the UK and covers a large supra-regional area, including Yorkshire and Humber, East and West Midlands, North-West and Eastern England. Because of this wide catchment area, inpatients tend to be far from their home town and family, and therefore often have fewer visitors. Their length of stay in the PRSCIC is usually weeks or months, but can sometimes be up to a year. Patients are from a wide age range (18+) and physical ability varies greatly between individuals, due to differences in level of spinal cord injury, age and health, however, most are working towards rehabilitation goals and building independence to be discharged.

The PRSCIC also runs courses for healthcare professionals from all over the country and has visitors from across the world.

The Northern General Hospital

The Northern General is the largest hospital campus within Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, spanning 100 acres. It is situated approximately three miles from the hospitals at the central campus and is easily accessed via the M1 motorway and public transport. The hospital has over 1100 beds and employs more than 16,000 staff.

Artist Brief

We are inviting proposals from artists who would like to create custom artworks to suit the large foyer area, which is just within the main entrance to the Spinal Cord Injuries Centre. The reception foyer provides the first impression to the Centre and its service, and is a busy space, used on a daily basis by patients, visitors and staff members. The area has recently been refurbished and it is hoped that the artwork will complete the transformation, making it a more welcoming, relaxing and uplifting space.

Patient engagement is important due to the nature of the Centre and its patients, as explained above. We would therefore like to hear from an artist who would be able to run a series of engagement sessions with patients and involve them in the design process. Because of this it would be helpful if you live within commuting distance of Sheffield.

In addition, the following criteria must be met:

  • It should convey a feeling of positivity and optimism.
  • It should create a good first impression to anyone visiting the unit.
  • It should evoke interest and enrich the environment.
  • Ideally the artwork will be contemporary, bright, and complement the colour scheme. Photographs of the area are shown on page 4. The walls are newly painted in a neutral colour, with grey accents. The new furniture (which will differ to that shown in the photograph) will be in blue, green and teal colours.
  • Artwork should meet all the infection control and health & safety requirements.
  • The artwork must not obstruct the areas in any way as they are used for access and fire exits. We are unable to use glass in our hospitals.
  • There should be the opportunity for patient and staff feedback throughout the process, which should involve a series of patient engagements sessions/ workshops.

Ideas and themes


Designs should:
Reflect the values of the unit such as:

  • Positivity
  • Rehabilitation focused
  • Supporting one another
  • A full and enjoyable life with spinal cord injury is possible and encouraged
  • Hope, motivation and determination
  • A life-long service (many patients will return to the Centre for check-ups, outpatient appointments or possibly readmissions, over the course of their life-times)
  • Reflect the themes of a journey or change, or the themes that emerge from the patient/staff/visitor engagement sessions.


  • The available wall space, along with maximum available dimensions is shown on page 4. We do not expect the artist to cover the entirety of these walls, but please detail in your application how you intend to use the space.


  • The artist will be required to work with the Hospital Arts Coordinator and Patient Activities Coordinator, as well as other staff and patients.
  • Durable material must be used. All materials should comply with the Trust’s health & safety, infection control and fire safety regulations. It must be easy to clean, have no sharp edges, be fire retardant and should not create any trip, or health and safety hazards.
  • The artist must be willing to run a minimum of four engagement sessions with patients.

If you are interested in applying for this opportunity, please provide us with:-

  • A short proposal that briefly outlines your idea and explains your working methods. We’d like to know how you will encourage patient participation (note that relatives/visitors can also take part but patients come first). Please outline how you intend to use the available wall space detailed above.
  • Up to 10 images or similar of recent work or links to website and social media sites where we can view your work. Please make sure that attached documents will not exceed our 5MB limit.
  • CV and statement about your work.
  • Breakdown of budget and time schedule. All costs must be included. Installation will be carried out by our Estates team but you will be required to supervise.

Please make sure you label all documents with your name.

Budget – £8000 inclusive of all artists’ fees, materials, delivery and must be inclusive of VAT.

Selection – The Project Team will consider the applications and select a candidate on the strength of their application and the information that they provide.

Please send your application to: sth.arts@nhs.net

Please use the subject heading: ‘Proposal: Spinal Injuries’

Deadline for applications – Friday 11th October 2019

Please note that only shortlisted artists will be contacted. The proposals will be presented to patients and staff and we may interview artists by phone or in person, if we feel there is a need to do so.
We hope to make our selection and notify the successful candidate by Friday 8th November 2019.

Please note that only shortlisted artists will be contacted.


Spinal Injuries Foyer