Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership: Public Art Programme

arts in hospital. Arts and Health: Entrance Glazing detail by Stuart Low. Photo: Paul HighnamMoving On, part of a £90 million PFI capital development for Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP), was completed between 2003 and 2007.

Willis Newson commissioned and project managed artworks for sites in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset.

We developed a strategy to help manage the process of transition to the new buildings and defined an arts programme with the aim of creating the best possible environment for care within the new developments.

A key aim of Moving On was to give service users and staff a chance to be involved in the creation of high quality, supportive environments within the new PFI developments. Both the creative process and the finished artworks would have therapeutic value.

At a detailed level, individual projects had specific strategic aims – engaging dementia patients by creating interesting walking routes within a dementia unit, for example.

“The arts can play an important part in creating a healing environment and, for us, involving service users and carers in the development of the arts strategy and the arts commissions was a vital part of that process.” AWP Medical Director, Dr Susan O’Connor

A research project undertaken by AWP and the University of the West of England (UWE) evaluated the impact of the programme.

Download a case study for this project or read the evaluation report. 

See the project images on Flickr

"'Moving On' is unique: it is impressive for the scale of the commission for arts in mental health; remarkable as a site-specific collection of quality artwork; and exemplary for the evaluation of the project..."

Susan Francis
Health Adviser - Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment