My Charity Story: Ann

“Using artworks in our relocation project was key to making the new area more welcoming.”

Ann Bowrin-Soyer, Matron for Medical and Specialist Dermatology at Guy’s Hospital, was involved in the relocation of the services from St Thomas’ to the Bermondsey Centre. The team used funding and art to create an inviting space.

What change did you want to see in your department?

Before the relocation, our day services were in different areas across the hospital. This meant patients were travelling from one area to another for appointments, which wasn’t ideal.

We also needed a big change in our environment. Our previous space was very clinical. We knew that having art around would make the environment more modern and lively, which in turn would reduce stress levels among patients and staff.

The next step was to work with an artist in residence, who was involved with the relocation project from the beginning. We spoke to patients and staff to find out the kinds of artwork they’d want to see in the new space. Art was embedded from the start of our project.

How did the funding help?

The Charity’s support allowed the relocation team to work alongside an artist in residence to create bespoke pieces. We also selected relevant artworks from the Charity’s large arts collection.

"Following the installation of the artworks, we did an evaluation to see how the new space was being received. Staff and patients agreed that the artwork contributed to a better hospital environment and that it was more welcoming and bright than before."

An evaluation showed that 76% of staff and patients agreed that the artwork contributed to an improved hospital environment. They explained that it didn’t feel as clinical as before, and that it was more welcoming and bright. The patients comment all the time on how they enjoy having the artwork in the treatment rooms, not just the corridors. It’s a good topic for discussion between the patients and staff when treatments are taking place. It relaxes the environment.

Could you have achieved the same result with support from elsewhere?

The Charity was the natural choice for us. Making use of its large artwork collection made perfect sense. Without the Charity, we wouldn’t have such a modern space for our patients to attend their appointments, and for our staff to work in.

Why should your colleagues at the Trust apply for support?

The money is there for you, so use it. It made a real difference to our previously very clinical space. Patients and staff are now happier with our warmer environment.

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