Healing Arts at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital - Book Launch

When Chelsea and Westminster Hospital first opened in 1993, it quickly became nationally and internationally renowned for being both a state-of-the-art clinical centre and a unique hospital environment where art, sculpture and the creative disciplines were built into the fabric and ethos of the organisation.

This week we paid tribute to the vision and legacy of the group of doctors and artists who helped shape the Chelsea and Westminster in launching 'The Healing Arts', a collection of essays, images and stories that bring to life the hospital’s pioneering art and design programme and the impact it continues to have today.

As well as celebrating this artistic heritage, we were also able to share our future plans, including our ambition to focus on three key themes:

Design and Environment, where we will continue to work with artists, architects and partners from across the creative industries to commission new art works and help create the optimum healing environment for our patients and staff; Arts for All, our participatory arts programme that will bring more music, dance, film, arts and crafts to patients, families and carers than ever before, both at the bedside and in dedicated spaces across our hospital; and the Future Hospital, which will see us introducing next generation technologies including virtual and augmented reality, digital monitoring and installation, and robotics to transform the experience of our patients and visitors. All of these themes will be underpinned by a rigorous evaluation programme designed to help us build a body of evidence to be shared across the medical and artistic communities, and provide validation of the impact interventions of this kind can have on the lives and outcomes of patients in a hospital setting.

None of this work would be possible without the generosity and advocacy of our supporter community. The Healing Arts have always played a critical role in the life of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. There is still much to do and, with your help, we know that this programme has the capacity to touch and change many thousands of lives both in our hospitals and in clinical centres across the world. 

Celia Irvin