Arts in Primary Care Project
The Arts in Primary care project took place in Cornwall 2006-2008. It was organised by Arts for Health Cornwall and was a pilot scheme which gave six GP practices the opportunity to experience an artist in residence for 18 months. I was chosen to be the Lead Artist for Pool Health Centre. The aim of the project was to utilise the arts to help improve; 1) Patient attendance at Flu and Child immunisation clinics 2) have new creative groups for patient groups identified by the practice as needing further support 3) Improve information exchange between the practice and patients 4) Improve the overall environment of the waiting room 5) To have events which highlighted the practice and its services within the local community.
“Helen has been inspirational and completely professional in the Arts for Health projects she’s worked on for us . She has been able to work with a variety of groups and her reflective approach has ensured positive outcomes and continuous improvement.” Jayne Howard, Director, Arts for Health Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
What we did..
The Elders group was a creative group which ran on a weekly basis for residents of Blackwood House in Camborne. Residents gathered to try different creative activities. A large textile piece created by residents was put up in the waiting room at the surgery.
Family Day Event
The Family Day coincided with the children’s immunisation clinic. Families were invited to enjoy playing games, being creative together, refreshments and entertainment .
Create and Nurture Group
The Create and Nurture group was a peaceful and relaxing space for mums who were identified by the healthcare team as being in need of some extra support. The sessions were run weekly at the local children’s centre, where a creche was available. The mums worked together to learn new skills, chat openly about their challenges and made some beautiful textile pieces that were displayed in the family area of the health centre.
Staff and patients were invited to contribute their ideas and design for the mosaic which now stands proud at the entrance to the surgery. All patients and staff were able to add a piece to the mosaic which was made in the entrance to the surgery over a period of a week.
The flu clinic was livened up with an exhibition of rarely seen photographs loaned from a local heritage project. The health centre is positioned in an area of great importange historically for the mining industry. Patients were encouraged to share their memories inspired by the photos whilst waiting for their flu jabs, to socialise together with other locals, and enjoy the refreshments and free health advice on offer from health practitioners for staying warm and well over the winter months.