Hospital Arts Managers’ Forum

Arts managers from more than 30 hospital arts programmes came together for the first time to network, share projects and work together to make arts in hospitals a key contributor to the field of arts in health.
Speaking at this inaugural meeting of the Hospital Arts Managers’ Forum at the Royal Derby Hospital last month, Jane Willis urged Hospital Arts Managers to think big, be curious and find new and compelling ways to tell their stories.
She urged those running arts programmes to see the potential of their work to transform organisational cultures as well as individual lives, encouraging them to see themselves as alchemists. Stressing the importance of evaluation, she asked people to be curious - not just about the impact our work has but also about how and why it works. And, lastly, she suggested that we need to get better at sharing and communicating what we do. We need to find new and compelling ways to tell our stories and those of the people we work with.
During the day, arts managers from across the UK shared highlights and learning from their programmes, demonstrating the breadth and depth of activity taking place.
Arts and Health South West Director Alex Coulter spoke to the group about the All Party Parliamentary Group on Arts and Health and the recommendations of Creative Health, the report from the APPG’s two-year enquiry.
She also explained the plans for launching the Culture Health and Wellbeing Alliance in 2018.
Following on from the Forum, the next steps are to:
• Conduct a survey to get an overview of hospital arts programmes, how they are funded and how programmes sit within each Trust

• Host another meeting May 2018 based on setting arts strategies and generating a model of good practice

• Set up a day to work with Jane Willis and Professor Norma Daykin on evaluation methods
If you are involved in running an arts programme in a hospital and would like to be involved, please email

 Hospital Arts Managers' Forum