Nature-themed artwork brightens the environment at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital

By Jo Makosinski 31-Oct-2022

Staff partner with Paintings In Hospitals to bring artwork to patient and staff areas

Staff with View from the Studio by Edward Beale, part of a new art exhibition at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital

Staff with View from the Studio by Edward Beale, part of a new art exhibition at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital

Paintings In Hospitals has installed 11 artworks at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital to brighten the surgical block, radiology department, and maternity ward. 

The display is part of Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s Take heART campaign, which was formed in July 2021 by a group of like-minded staff members passionate about increasing the availability of the arts for patients, visitors, and staff at the hospital.

Born from the arts and wellbeing committee set up by consultant radiologist, Dr Sheena McLaggan; and clinical psychologist, Rachel Chater; the campaign seeks to improve the mental and physical wellbeing of staff, patients, carers, and visitors by evoking calm and comfort and encouraging interaction through workshops and activities.

It also aims to foster links between the trust’s hospitals and the communities they serve.

The artworks were chosen by staff to evoke dialogue and reflection, while bringing calm and a colourful distraction from clinical, hospital life.

Rooster and Railway Carriage by Mark Hearld

Rooster and Railway Carriage by Mark Hearld

Most of the selected artworks include nature scenes, chosen to reduce stress and restore energy, with vibrant pieces by Rachel Nicholson, Edward Beale, and Mark Hearld.

A spokesman for Paintings in Hospitals, said: “There is a growing body of evidence showing how powerful spending time in nature can be to help reduce levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.

“Now research is showing that even just looking at images of nature is enough to have similar effects.

There is a growing body of evidence showing how powerful spending time in nature can be to help reduce levels of stress, anxiety, and depression

“And, acccording to findings recovered in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, having photos of artworks that depict nature in a work setting is the best medicine for keeping stress levels low.”

Dr McLaggan added: “We have really enjoyed partnering with Paintings in Hospitals to bring a wide range of uplifting artwork into our hospitals.

“It has been incredibly well received by both staff and patients and has helped to highlight the benefits of the arts in a hospital setting.”

Moving forward, Paintings in Hospitals is looking to create an interactive art trail map at the hospital and is hoping to run more workshops and install more artworks in the future at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital.

May Morning, Wensleydale by Piers BrowneSign up for your free email newsletter

May Morning, Wensleydale by Piers Browne