The Braemar Charitable Trust together with Arts for Health Community Trust, have been able to offer a professional art based experience for patients through weekly workshops being run in the Older Persons Orthopaedic Rehabilitation and Stroke Wards, at Waikato Hospital.
The purpose of the art workshops is to provide an avenue for patients to access the arts for social interaction, participate in creativity, utilise the creative art as a healing therapy and to use the arts as a form of empowerment and independence, which was community driven rather than hospital led.
Arts for Health Manager Cass Hendry, said the "Art sessions were well received by patients and staff alike. The artwork made in sessions gave patients something to look forward to, to share as a talking point with their family and friends who visited in the weekend or for those not having visitors. For patients recovering from strokes, this space was useful in supporting people to relearn writing skills and signatures. We worked with 287 patients and provided opportunities for relationship building with visiting family. Art sessions also aided in a social component where patients were able to share their worries and support each other in a difficult time".
Hospital staff found the service hugely valuable as described by the Ward Charge Nurse “From my point of view and those within my team of nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and the medical team, it has been invaluable to our patients that we have the opportunity to have you come on a weekly basis to share your time with our patients. For many people this has been the highlight of their week. To have someone come and be able to spend un-hurried time with them is wonderful. We have had many differing types of patients attending from those who are cognitively challenged, to those who have had life- long disability, to those that are here for rehabilitation.We have had some who have discharged back to their own homes or care facilities but no matter what their hospital journey has been, we have found you being able to come and share your time with us has had a huge therapeutic advantage to all those that have joined your group. I certainly hope that this can continue on our ward”.
Patient feedback too has been supportive, "with one patient saying "This is excellent, definitely an advantage to all the patients for physical strength and mental wellbeing. Don’t let it stop at all, everyone should come to this group. The lady is so welcoming, friendly, patient and always smiles. She makes us feel good trying something".
Trust Manager Paula Baker said "The Braemar Charitable Trust is delighted to have been able to fund this fantastic initiative that has done so much to enhance the wellbeing of the patients of Wards OPR2,3 and 4 at Waikato Hospital and that has made a direct difference to vulnerable members of our community".