(Courtesy of Salisbury District Hospital)


There is a folder on each ward, which is accessible to clinical staff, artists and volunteers.  For each session a feedback form is completed and artists and volunteers have been briefed on how to complete these forms. 

Staff can suggest patients that might benefit on another form that is also kept in the folder and when artists arrive on a ward, this form is their first port of call. 

Second is to ask the ward clerk/nurse in charge which patients they recommend.  

A volunteer works alongside an artist, who may go onto the wards ahead of an artist and meet patients who may benefit from the artist working with them.  Some volunteers then prep the artist on arrival, so they know which patients to visit, and some volunteers continue to support the artists during the session. 

Feedback collated is a mixture of volunteer/artist observations, verbatim comments from patients, and a general overview of any information deemed to be relevant to the overall session.  Numbers (and names if relevant) of patients worked with are also recorded.  Bay and bed numbers are often used so artists can be signposted to patients who would like further sessions later in the week with other artists on different days..

The forms have been adapted after discussion with artists and volunteers, so they are simple and clear and don’t distract from the actual session itself, due to constant ‘form filling’.

Examples to download:


Artist support

Artists are supported by a volunteer whenever possible.  3 regular volunteers are allocated the same day each week, so they become familiar with the same wards and as a consequence the nursing staff from those wards as well.  This helps with preparing patients for an artist’s visit and builds a supportive environment in which the artist can facilitate. 

Volunteers assist with completing monitoring forms, recording comments and gathering feedback from patients, staff and friends/family.  A volunteer’s role is often then extended to talking to other patients and encouraging them to engage with the artist’s session, or visiting other bays to find more patients fro the artist to visit later in the session. 

The volunteer undertakes the organisational role to allow the artist to focus more on the actual session with the patients.  Some of the artists and volunteers have been working together for several years and have a great working relationship on the wards – thus leading to really making the most of the sessions.

There is an artists’ workshop event each year, when all the artists on the programme get together and share their practice, experiences on the wards and ideas/plans to improve the programme.  There is a project co-ordinator who has regular communication with all artists and visits them working on the wards every few weeks.

All artists and volunteers have gone through the full DBS check before being allowed on the wards.  This is done through the hospital’s voluntary services department.

Artists and volunteers also have training in infection control as part of their induction to working in the hospital.

A model artists contract can be downloaded here.




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