Charity backed art sessions latest tool to help nurse city spinal patients back to health The Arts in Health team at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust run weekly arts and crafts sessions delivered by a dedicated team of activity volunteers, an arts coordinator and arts and crafts project leaders. Thanks to funding awarded by Arts Council England, and matched by Sheffield Hospitals Charity, one of this year’s flagship Arts in Health projects sees three Sheffield artists - Coralie Turpin, Jason Thomson and Seiko Kinoshita - bring a variety of creative workshops to patients at the Princess Royal Spinal Injuries Unit. Mir Jansen, Arts Coordinator at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The length of stay of patients with spinal injuries is usually two months to a year, with further surgery often required. They are often dealing with life changing injuries, such as paralysis, and it can take time and lengthy rehabilitation to be able to perform general day to day tasks again. “The Spinal Cord Injuries project aims to determine if doing crafts can help with hand movements and hand to eye coordination, along with giving patients new hobbies and skills. “So far we have had five sessions, which have been very well received. The sessions give patients with spinal injuries a social community and encourage social interactions. Patients are enjoying being challenged and are enjoying building friendships.”A recent study showed that patients who took part in the Arts in Health activities experienced a 20 per cent improvement in mood and significant reduction in levels of anxiety. Sheffield Hospitals Charity has also part funded the Palliative Care Centre project. Jane Forster and Brian Whitmore from Redfolio have accessed the Palliative Care Unit’s Oral History Archives to provide a variety of creative engagement methods to help patients and their relatives and carers build a visual archive of life on the unit. The team hope that the completed art works –ranging from painting, writing, calligraphy, storytelling and book making, will help create a lasting legacy and positive memories. The Spinal Injuries project and Palliative Care Project both form part of a three year initiative - ‘In & Out of Hospital’, giving four patient groups the opportunity to work with professional artists on tailored projects. Phase 2 will start in January, and will work with stroke and hearing loss patients.