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North West Arts & Health Partnership

Between 2007-2010 Arts Council England, North West (ACE, NW) and the Department of Health, Public Health, North West (PH,NW) are working in partnership with Arts for Health at Manchester Metropolitan University to develop the regional arts and health infrastructure.

This partnership seeks to accede regional priorities, enhance existing networks, share good practice, advocate for the effective delivery of health through arts practice and develop approaches to research and training.

Our Vision

To integrate culture and the arts into mainstream health strategy and policy making, in order to make the case for a role for the arts in healthcare provision across the north-west region and for a wider remit for the arts in terms of healthy living and wellbeing.

Key Principles

Health, in its widest sense, is a key outcome of arts and cultural activity. Creativity, culture and the arts have a central role to play in raising aspiration, confidence, a sense of community and cohesion, and individual and community well-being. As such they are a powerful force in the development of improved public health.

Specifically, arts and health activities can:

  • promote the good health and wellbeing of communities
  • promote positive health messages and public health issues
  • identify health and wellbeing needs
  • improve the mental, emotional and spiritual state of Health Service users
  • create or improve environments in healthcare settings for staff and service users
  • help people improve their options for healthcare and support patient choice
  • help medical staff, carers, patients and families to communicate more effectively with each other by offering opportunities for social interaction, involvement and empowerment
  • provide opportunities for artists to develop their practice, in particular in collaborative working and communication techniques
  • improve the lives of healthcare staff by humanising the treatment process and giving more respect to individuals
  • use creativity in, and creative approaches to, continuing professional development for healthcare staff

Objectives 2008-2010

The partnership will develop, produce, finalise and disseminate a strategic framework that will work towards addressing regional and national priorities and joint objectives, contributing towards:

  • Using the arts to contribute to neighbourhood renewal by improving the health of those communities
  • Using the arts to improve the physical environment of health care buildings particularly through the PFI and LIFT schemes
  • Supporting collaborative partnerships and networks with key stakeholders
  • Exploiting different funding schemes to promote arts based health initiatives
  • Further understand and support artistic and cultural activity that impacts on health inequalities
  • Workforce development - Developing the skills of artists and healthcare workers
  • To further share understanding of the impacts of the arts on health through the dissemination of evidence
  • To influence the development of the European Capital of Culture in Liverpool 08
  • To develop the role of Manchester Metropolitan University as a regional arts and health development centre

Over 2009 we are facilitating a number of regional and sub-regional seminars and networking sessions to further this agenda. See the events section of this website for regular updates.