If you have any suggestions to add to this list of top tips, please email them to Alex Coulter.
- Learn from/work with patients – listen to their feedback and responses. (Visitors, staff and carers)
- Address patients creative needs, be sensitive, individual, listening and responding.
- Respect the patients, clinical staff, artists.
- Expect to be moved and astounded and joyous by the outcome of the work.
- Work with quality artists; “The Right People” for the job.
- Artists need to be flexible and responsive to ward environment and changes
- Give adequate support to the artists
- Communication between artists and staff is key
- Good idea for artists to undergo basic dementia training before starting project (see Resources for the SCIE eLearning)
- Spend sufficient time on liaising with and engaging ward staff
- Commitment from staff is essential
- All staff need to be informed about projects but artists need one member of staff as a main contact
- Work and communicate with clinical teams/staff so they understand your intentions and benefits.
- Work with the leaders in the organisation – make sure they experience/see the work as it happens.
- Become a strong, known, reliable presence on the ward/department.
- Select areas carefully, find your champions!
- Schedule sessions regularly
- Be flexible to ward and individual needs; - where, when, how will it happen?
- Be persistent
- Publish information, posters, laminated (Infection Control) information sheets left at the bed-side for patients and relatives.
- With singing make sure you have songs in large print
- Keep a reflective journal to consolidate your learning
- Celebrate, use the media to keep/raise the profile.
- Ensure the work is properly funded.
- Sustain it, grow it, and look to the future. Apply for more funding early.