What We Do

The Arts for Health and Wellbeing Programme support a variety of creative projects across a range of artistic mediums for Cardiff and Vale University Health Board staff, patients and service users. We are proactive in using art to improve health and wellbeing and aim for our work to be inclusive and representative of our community.

The latest information about specific projects can be found in the news section of our website.

The Hearth Gallery and Associated Exhibition Spaces Across CAVUHB

The Hearth Gallery is located in the University Hospital Llandough’s main plaza entrance and is open daily between 9am and 8pm. The gallery is one of a kind in Wales; a contemporary space situated at the heart of a clinical setting. The exhibitions change roughly every 4-6 weeks and feature work from both emerging and established artists, and a variety of community groups and charities.

 During the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Hearth Gallery adapted to showcasing exhibitions online through the Virtual Gallery, which can be accessed here.

Other associated exhibition spaces include staff room/ corridor exhibitions across University Hospital Llandough and Barry Hospital.

Improving Environments

One of the main priorities of Cardiff and Vale UHB’s arts programme is to improve the environments in which our patients live and are treated during their time in secondary care. In doing so, we are also improving the work environment for our staff. This is a continuous, ongoing campaign and there are always new projects on the horizon. By using art, we are able to create more stimulating and more supportive environments. Arts can play a role in everything about a space: architecture, art on the walls, the flow of natural light, the inclusion of nature, and the sound you’re exposed to. The physical environments to which patients are subjected during their time in secondary care has a significant impact on the stress and mood of that patient and enhancing the environment with art can enhance patient wellbeing outcomes. The evidence from the Welsh NHS Confederation also suggests that attractive spaces improve staff job satisfaction.

Music

Of every art form, music is arguably the most universally loved, appreciated, and understood. Regardless of lyrics, the language of keys and chords resonates with us all.

Research conducted by the charity, Music in Hospitals & Care, in conjunction with the University of Sussex and the University of Huddersfield found that ‘Music provides substantial and significant benefits for all individuals who encounter the performance and not just clients. Based on the evidence, we can state that the musical performances provide significant benefits for care staff, musicians, nursing staff, managers and the families of clients.’

The Arts for Health and Wellbeing  Programme music collaborations include staff and patient performances and workshops with Harmoni Cymru, Welsh National Opera and Forget-me-not chorus.

Dance and Movement

By working with partner organisations, we are able to commission performers and sessions leaders that engage with our patients, encouraging them to move more and maintain their muscle strength while in hospital. Organisations such as Rubicon Dance and Elderfit offer sessions that are specially designed to engage patients and improve their strength and balance. By doing so, they dramatically decrease their risk of falling and injuring themselves while simultaneously making their transition back home smoother and easier due to increased independence. Studies suggest that it only takes 19 minutes of exercise a day while in hospital to improve mobility, improve recovery times and improve quality of life.

Outside and Orchard Art

Cardiff and Vale UHB is developing an innovative and ambitious new space at its University Hospital Llandough (UHL) site.

Our Health Meadow will bring to life the vision of a community orchard to the fields surrounding the hospital site. The health board is working with partners to establish this innovative project which is believed to be the first of its kind at a hospital site in the UK. Our goal is to establish an ecological community health park which aims to benefit wildlife, plants and people through positive human-environment interaction.As part of this project to improve our outdoor environment, we will be developing a complementary programme of outside art to furnish and decorate the orchard as well as the outdoor spaces across all of our sites.

Our Health Heritage

Although contemporary projects are exciting, it’s important to take time to reflect upon our past. Our arts programme celebrates the history and the heritage of the health service in Wales in general and in Cardiff and Vale specifically. We work closely with our museum partners and our hospital sites to accurately archive and present the history of healthcare in south Wales in an engaging and artistic way.