ARTS@STH work with a variety of artists and arts organisations to help us to achieve our objective of improving the experience and wellbeing of our patients.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals has had an arts programme since the 1990s.  It is currently managed by two part-time arts coordinators and an arts activities officer who look after the hospital improvement and patient engagement programme.

We offer a varied programme of creative activities for the benefit of our patients.  We focus on wards where we have a high percentage of elderly patients, and patients with dementia.   We offer a monthly music programme with musicians from Music in Hospitals and Care and Lost Chord.  We also provide weekly creative activities sessions and some dance/movement groups.

We work closely with arts & crafts volunteers and general ward volunteers who engage patients in conversation and arts & crafts activities to relieve boredom, improve mood and reduce levels of anxiety. They have access to a range of materials including our popular ‘Activities Pack‘.

Arts & Crafts on the Wards

We provide weekly arts & crafts sessions for 10 wards with long-stay patients.  Sheffield Hospitals Charity funded the activity boxes filled with art materials. We work with a dedicated team of volunteers who help to deliver the sessions and who collect feedback from patients and/or relatives.

Volunteers either work with small groups of patients in day- or dining rooms or they assist patients at their bedsides.   All our volunteers receive training and support from the volunteer services team, arts coordinator and activities coordinators.  Experienced volunteers on the wards support the new volunteers to ensure they learn to carry out their roles with confidence.

Music Sessions

Music in Hospitals and Lost Chord are the two music charities we work with to provide us with a wide range of professional musicians who come to play on our wards.  The sessions are enjoyed by patients and staff alike.  All the musicians have been carefully selected and are trained to encourage patient participation.

We had a lovely day today with lots of positive interactions with patients, staff and visitors. It’s nice when staff understand and support the work. On Brearley Ward there was a lovely nurse who came into bays and sang holding hands with patients. A physio also was pleased when a gentleman had a bit of a hip wiggle to the music walking back to his bed with his walking frame“. (Holly Marland, musician from Music in Hospitals)

Lost Chord specialise in providing music for patients with dementia.  Familiar songs and melodies from past times can have a calming effect on patients who often feel anxious and isolated in unfamiliar surroundings.  Patients are encouraged to sing and dance and the concerts are often lively and happy events, enjoyed by patients and staff.

We also work with community interest company Brightside Music, founded by Aisling Holmes and Rebecca Eden-Green, who regularly play for our Outpatients at Weston Park Cancer hospital and Stroke patients at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital.

It is a good idea to have live music in the waiting room area. It lightens the mood of the area and makes the stress of waiting for a consultation easier to cope with” (patient at Weston Park Cancer Hospital)

The music programme is funded by Sheffield Hospitals Charity.