Header image: Stream A Collaboration between visual artist Emma Hunter and Dr Philip Kilner, Consultant and Reader in Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance.

rb&hArts

rb&hArts brings the benefits of the arts to support in and outpatients at Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust and the local communities surrounding each hospital.

Delivered through Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity, rb&hArts raise additional funds to deliver a long-term programme aiming to increase levels of wellbeing, enhance the patient experience and improve the healthcare environment through the arts.

The programme was launched in 2002 and has grown exponentially, delivering a rich and diverse programme of activities for patients. Now, in a typical year, rb&hArts runs 250 workshops in craft, music and visual arts engaging 5,000 participants, and employing 30 artists.

Support the Arts in our Hospitals

They are many ways in which you can support the arts programme.

  • You can donate to the Arts Programme here
  • Volunteer and/or fundraise to bring the healing power of the arts to more people in hospital and outpatients.
  • Follow rb&hArts on Twitter/Facebook to find out more and join activities @rbh_Arts
  • Join the rbhArts mailing list here
  • Call us on 0330 128 8121 x 84087

Or visit rbht.nhs.uk/arts

The core creative programme includes:

The Permanent Collection & Visual Arts

rb&hArts manages the Charity’s Art Collection. With over 1,000 pieces, it features valuable artworks by well-known artists such as Steven Appleby, Jaime Hayon, Susan Aldworth, Carrie Reichardt, Peter Blake, and Grayson Perry, the collection on display across the hospitals varies from painting, prints, watercolours and digital art.

In collaboration with clinical departments, rb&hArts commissions site-specific, interesting and relevant high-quality art and design to positively affect the hospital spaces and ensure patients, their families and staff can enjoy a calming and caring environment.

Vocal Beats

This creative music-making initiative supports young inpatients on Rose Ward at Royal Brompton, through opportunities to learn and make music every Wednesday and Thursday. Lead music facilitator, Heather McClelland, works alongside two beat boxers – Bellatrix and MC Zani – so expect to hear boots, cats and lips drills alongside the beautiful sound of the ukulele!  It aims to improve levels of wellbeing, music skills, confidence and promote community spirit for all young people during their stay.

In 2018 Vocal Beats has been extended to support young adults aged 17 to 25 – and is now delivered on Rowan and Foulis wards at the Trust. 

Stac shows a young patient how to play the ukulele!  

Singing for Breathing

Our weekly Singing for Breathing workshops supports people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), an incurable respiratory condition which makes breathing difficult. The disease is most prevalent in people aged 60+, and typical symptoms include breathlessness, coughing and frequent chest infections.  It can also affect levels of anxiety and depression, leading to inactivity, isolation and dependence.  Although there is no cure, the condition can be better managed through singing.

Workshops are led by British Lung Foundation trained leaders (Elisa Jeffery and Edmund Jeffery) teach key skills (diaphragmatic breathing, relaxation, posture and singing) and offers a fun, friendly class to support people to better manage their conditions.

  • Harefield: Mondays, 11.30am, Harefield Village Library
  • Uxbridge Christ Church, Bailey’s Hall, Mondays, 2pm
  • Royal Brompton: Tuesdays, 11:00am, Quiet Room, Victoria Wards, Fulham Wing

As I have breathing problems, I take every opportunity I can to sing. Singing is really the only thing that helps me, much better than inhalers. Singing for Breathing is particularly useful as we do so much work on strengthening muscles, breathing techniques and vocalising

- Valerie, Harefield Outpatient and Singing for Breathing Group member

Live music and bedside singing

Live music, singing and creative music-making opportunities in healthcare engages people of all ages and transcends the need for language. It also enables the sharing of a positive experience, even during very challenging circumstances. Often acting as a conversation starter, many patients have commented on how a performance has provided respite from the boredom, loneliness and anxiety of being in hospital.  We have two fantastic musicians, Adrian Garratt and Stac in residence playing every week throughout 2018.

It was absolute entertainment and relaxing. Being an inpatient, away from my kids was really depressing and I was feeling low when I saw beautiful and talented Stac walking into the ward. The Music she played was entertaining and made me happy

Adrian Garratt talks to a patient on Rowan Ward

Crafternoons

Crafternoons bring artists, volunteers, outpatients and inpatients together to learn new creative  skills in monthly workshops.  It aims to develop new friendships including between inpatients. Through creating and making together, conversations and relationships of trust will emerge to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness. Learning new skills, will build confidence and self-esteem, thereby increasing resilience.  It also develops feeling of community cohesion and social capital, thereby promoting mental wellbeing for all involved. 

Nurses take a rest from the Ward over their lunch break and learn how to finger knit