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Creative Health East Midlands launch

The East Midlands launch of Creative Health The Arts for Health and Wellbeing was held in Derbyshire in June 2018.


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Arts Derbyshire organised the launch of 'Creative Health' in the East Midlands, on behalf of the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance and supported by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Arts, Health and Wellbeing (APPGAHW) and Derbyshire County Council, on 29th June in South Normanton, Derbyshire.

'Creative Health' is the result of a 2 year inquiry into practice and research in the arts in health and social care which was conducted by the APPGAHW. The report sets out comprehensive evidence and numerous examples of practice which demonstrate the beneficial impact of the arts, helping people to stay well, recover faster, manage long-term conditions and experience a better quality of life, and also gives 10 recommendations to improve policy and practice.

88 delegates attended this launch event from across the East Midlands and from a wide range of backgrounds. 34 were from Health and Social Care, including many managers and senior commissioners. Another 23 work for statutory or national bodies, universities, or are politicians; and 31 sit within arts and health, or the arts sector.

The conference was opened by Cllr Carol Hart, Cabinet Member for Health and Communities at Derbyshire County Council and Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board, who was followed by an informative and interesting keynote by the Baroness Ruth Lister of Burtersett, member of the APPGAHW. Delegates were inspired by 7 compelling Arts and Health projects, working across a variety of artforms and settings in the East Midlands, and hearing the voice of participants and health professionals alongside arts practitioners and managers.

In a detailed look at current policy we heard from Rebecca Blackman, Director of Engagement and Audiences, and Midlands Director, Arts Council England; Dean Wallace, Director of Public Health, Derbyshire County Council; and Alexander Coulter, Director, Arts & Health South West and Project Manager, APPGAHW. Dr. Chris Clayton, Chief Executive Officer, Derbyshire CCGs and Iain Little, Consultant in Public Health at Derbyshire County Council then joined us for a panel discussion.

The event was a great success and significant in the evolution of Arts and Health across the region. During the event, Dean Wallace, Director of Public Health for Derbyshire County Council, in response to recommendation 3 from the report, offered to represent arts and culture on the Health and Wellbeing Board for Derbyshire. Many delegates pledged to enact change through their work, and we will be contacting them again in a few months to track progress. Key players in health and social care are now asking questions as to how they can further develop the use of arts in health across the area, and Arts Derbyshire looks forward to working together with them in the coming months to effect real and lasting change for the people of Derbyshire and beyond.

Conference papers and presentations are available to download at the bottom of the page.

For more information about the event or to stay in touch with the arts and health sector across the East Midlands, please contact Helena Reynolds, Arts and Health Co-ordinator, Arts Derbyshire on artsandhealthderbyshire@gmail.com 

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