Performing Medicine in APPGAHW Report

The work of Performing Medicine has been praised in Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing, the Inquiry Report for The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing (APPGAHW).

Between 2015-2017, the APPGAHW conducted an Inquiry into practice and research in the arts in health and social care, with a view to making recommendations to improve policy and practice.

The report notes,

“In most arts-based programmes in medical schools, artists and arts organisations are invited in to provide expertise or deliver a specific aspect of a programme, with medical students sometimes being taken into cultural environments. At present, it is rare for arts-based activities within medical schools to involve deeper collaboration with artists or arts organisations. An exception to this is the work of theatre company Clod Ensemble, led by artist Dr Suzy Willson, who is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London.

Since 2001, Clod Ensemble’s Performing Medicine programme has delivered educational courses and workshops, using arts-based methods to train medical students and practising health professionals, as part of undergraduate medical curricula, professional development within NHS trusts and public events. Practical courses – delivered by associate artists from backgrounds including dance, theatre, voice coaching and sculpture – focus on a range of clinically applicable skills, such as non-verbal and verbal communication, spatial awareness, leadership and teamwork. Participatory approaches stimulate collaboration and critical thinking, with students encouraged to embody what they learn with a view to practising it. Performing Medicine delivers compulsory courses throughout the core curriculum at Barts and The London, courses focusing on long-term conditions and student wellbeing at King’s College London (supported by GSTC) and courses for foundation-year doctors at Royal United Hospitals in Bath.”

The Inquiry Report was supported by National Alliance for Arts, Health and Wellbeing, King’s College London, the Royal Society for Public Health and Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity.

Read the full report here.

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