Bluebell Lodge Update

 Detail of wall painting by Mark Titchner in the TV Room at Bluebell Lodge.

Detail of wall painting by Mark Titchner in the TV Room at Bluebell Lodge.

In June we launched a new project at Bluebell Lodge, an inpatient mental health rehabilitation unit for men. Part of Central & North West London NHS Foundation Trust, Bluebell Lodge provides long-term care and support for people who have complex mental health needs, which in many cases previous placements have been unable to meet. The average stay of residents is between 6 and 18 months, during which time they are supported to develop the necessary skills for independent living - both practical and in relation to personal mental health management and wellbeing.

We commissioned six artists to make highly inventive, compelling and NHS compliant artistic environments for the unit, in partnership with mental health service users, carers and mental health professionals. In addition to new work by our six commissioned artists - Rachael Champion, Tim A Shaw, Mark Titchner, Steve Macleod, Bob and Roberta Smith and Anna Barriball - we also have a work by Antony Gormley who has donated a piece to Hospital Rooms for Bluebell Lodge.

We are now nearing completion of our project, with just one artwork remaining to be installed. We’d like to share with you the amazing work that has been created at Bluebell Lodge and the dramatic ways the environment has been transformed.

Rachael Champion

‘Tropospheric Terrestrial Bodies’, in the Telephone Room at Bluebell Lodge.

Rachael Champion’s site-specific sculptures and installations explore relationships between industry, technology and nature. Often large in scale, her dramatic constructions question our interactions with the natural world and architectural space. Rachael has exhibited widely and her work has recently been on show at Hales Gallery and the Whitechapel Gallery. For our project at Bluebell Lodge Rachael has covered the walls, ceiling and floor of the Telephone Room in an immersive digital print collage. The images “depict terrestrial formations in the sky, including rocks and bodies of water...” merging “components of Earth’s elements into a transportive, joyful space.”

 Image of Rachael’s proposed work for the Telephone Room at Bluebell Lodge

Image of Rachael’s proposed work for the Telephone Room at Bluebell Lodge

 Rachael Champion completing the installation of her work in the Telephone Room.

Rachael Champion completing the installation of her work in the Telephone Room.

 The work Rachael has created for the Telephone Room was informed by the workshop she led for residents at Bluebell Lodge. Titling the workshop, ‘Finding Terraspheric Forms’, Rachael brought some wooden mock-ups of the Telephone Room and residents used collage and clay sculpture to explore ways of altering the space (pictured above and below).

The work Rachael has created for the Telephone Room was informed by the workshop she led for residents at Bluebell Lodge. Titling the workshop, ‘Finding Terraspheric Forms’, Rachael brought some wooden mock-ups of the Telephone Room and residents used collage and clay sculpture to explore ways of altering the space (pictured above and below).

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Bob and Roberta Smith

The Relatives’ Room

Bob and Roberta Smith is an artist, writer, musician, art education advocate, activist and public speaker. He is also a Royal Academician and university professor and is known for his distinctive “slogan” art, which muses on art, politics, and popular culture. At Bluebell Lodge he has painted a frieze in the Relatives’ Room which, developing a concept by the artist Paul Klee, takes a line for a walk and leads the eye around the space. Bob and Roberta’s meandering line is both wandering and wondering, inviting us to think about and enact visual ideas, creativity, and music making. Initial inspiration for the artwork came from a xylophone used for a music therapy session which Bob and Roberta Smith noticed during his first visit to Bluebell Lodge. Xylophones became a feature of the workshop Bob and Roberta Smith led for the residents: using a palette of colours and musical notes, art inspired music and music inspired art and the work created during the session was incorporated into Bob and Robert Smith’s painting in the Relatives’ Room.

 Preliminary sketch by Bob and Roberta Smith of his artwork for the Relatives’ Room.

Preliminary sketch by Bob and Roberta Smith of his artwork for the Relatives’ Room.

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 Bob and Roberta Smith in the music and art workshop he led for residents at Bluebell Lodge. We are grateful to musical therapist Pavlina Papadopolou who helped make the workshop possible and also took part.

Bob and Roberta Smith in the music and art workshop he led for residents at Bluebell Lodge. We are grateful to musical therapist Pavlina Papadopolou who helped make the workshop possible and also took part.

Tim A Shaw

Corridors and Dining Room

Tim is not only one of the co-founders of Hospital Rooms but a practising artist who has exhibited his work both in the UK and internationally. This year Tim also had his first book published: ‘Draw & Be Happy: Art Exercises to Bring You Joy.’ At Bluebell Lodge Tim worked closely with the residents to come up with an artwork design for the corridors and Dining Room. Ideas were discussed with residents and recreated in a workshop using small-scale models of the spaces. The chosen design of clouds against a blue sky was then transferred by Tim onto the walls and ceiling of the corridors and Dining Room. The clouds have been painted in a shiny silver - chosen for the way it reflects the light and creates a more textured, dynamic surface.

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 Steve Macleod installing his work in the Gym at Bluebell Lodge.

Steve Macleod installing his work in the Gym at Bluebell Lodge.

Steve Macleod

Gym and Stairwell

Landscape photographer, creative director at Metro Imaging, and art educator Steve Macleod is no stranger to Hospital Rooms, having worked with us for our very first project at Phoenix Unit psychiatric rehab in Springfield University Hospital. The natural world is a constant source of inspiration for Steve and he immerses himself in the landscapes he photographs to explore their effect on mental wellbeing and the imagination. 2018 has been a busy year for Steve, completing a major new body of work titled Hala, a stunning collection of photographs taken on location in Dubai and exhibited for the first time at Somerset House in May. Despite this, however, Steve has dedicated himself to our project, creating not one but two ambitious beautiful new works for Bluebell Lodge. His artworks for the Gym and the stairwell were both influenced by a cyanotype workshop he led for residents on a baking hot summer’s day back in July. Cyanotype is a camera-less photographic printing process that produces a cyan-blue print and is made using a surface treated with photosensitive chemicals which is then exposed to light. You can read more about the cyanotype process, find out about Steve’s workshop and see more of the work created by participants in an earlier blog post: Bluebell Blueprints - chemistry, sunlight and creativity

Steve Macleod spent time wandering around a local meadow photographing plant shadows to create the image below, which is the basis for both his Bluebell Lodge artworks.

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Two cyanotypes created during Steve Macleod’s cyanotyoe workshop.

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For the Gym Steve reproduced his photograph as a room-sized image which wraps around the space.

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The artwork Steve has created for the stairwell is inspired by the Fibonnaci spiral, which is prevalently expressed in natural forms, in the patterns of seed heads, shells and petals for example. Steve’s image curls around a corner of the stairwell; as you walk up or down the stairs the image is gradually revealed. The stairs, which link the ground floor common areas with the first floor floor patient bedrooms, provide the opportunity for multiple perspectives of the artwork.

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Antony Gormley

‘Mind Matter’ in the Interview Room

Turner prize-winning artist Antony Gormley is perhaps best known for his work the ‘Angel of the North’. His installations, sculpture and public artworks explore the relationship of the human body to space. For our project at Bluebell Lodge, Antony Gormley has generously donated the piece below, a unique work titled ‘Mind Matter’, made using carbon, casein and correction fluid on paper. We have framed the work and installed it in the Interview Room.

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Mark Titchner and Anna Barriball

Joint Camera Obscura workshop

Artists Mark Titchner and Anna Barriball together led a workshop at Bluebell Lodge, showing residents how to create camera obscura using cardboard boxes, magnifying glasses, tracing paper, mountboard and tape. One of the residents came up with his own creative double-lens version. In the pictures below you can see Niamh and Anna trying it out. With Camera Obscura, from the Latin meaning ‘dark room’, ‘pinhole images’ are created by admitting light into a dark enclosed space through a single small hole. This results in an inverted image of the outside scene cast on the surface opposite the hole. The technique has been used for centuries, as an aid to drawing as well as a means of safely viewing Solar eclipses. You can see inverted images of the Bluebell Lodge garden visible in the camera obscuras in the pictures below.

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Mark Titchner

‘Please Believe’, in the TV Room

This is our second time working with Mark Titchner, who was one of the artists we commissioned for our project at Snowsfields Adolescent Unit at The Maudsley Hospital. Mark’s practice incorporates a broad range of media, including video, digital print, sculpture and wall painting. His work often explores the tensions between different belief systems - religious, scientific or political for example - and the influence of various ideologies on both the individual and society as a whole. He has just completed a major new public art commission at London Bridge, a series of stunning sculptural pieces titled ‘Me. Here. Now’ hanging above a pedestrian-only walkway on Stainer Street. We will be looking more closely at Mark’s London Bridge artwork in a forthcoming blog post. For the TV Room at Bluebell Lodge Mark has created a beautiful, intricate layered design which he has meticulously hand-painted.

 First few layers painted

First few layers painted

 Work in progress, more layers added

Work in progress, more layers added

 Mark at work

Mark at work

 Applying the finishing touches

Applying the finishing touches

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 Mark Titchner’s completed wall painting in the TV Room at Bluebell Lodge

Mark Titchner’s completed wall painting in the TV Room at Bluebell Lodge

Work by our final artist, Anna Barriball, will be installed within the next fortnight, keep an eye on our social media feeds to see the beautiful work Anna has created. Anna’s participation in our project has been supported by Cornish fashion brand Seasalt. You can find out about our partnership with Seasalt and the other ways in which they are supporting our work in an earlier blog post: Seasalt and Hospital Rooms - a natural fit

As well as support from Seasalt, our project at Bluebell Lodge is also part funded by Arts Council England. Colart has generously donated art materials for the project through their brand Liquitex.

As a charity, our work would not be possible without the generosity and support of friends and donors. With our newly launched Benefactor’s Scheme there are now more ways you can make a contribution and be a part of the work that we do. With your help we can transform more NHS mental health care environments across the UK and give more people the opportunity to be touched and inspired by our unique and radical projects.

Richard Wentworth and Reid Baboolal in conversation: “it’s about relationships and it’s about trust”

The arrival of September means fresh starts for many people, a change of pace, focus or routine after the long hot days of summer. For Hospital Rooms, this September marks a significant new beginning as we moved into our very first office space and established a proper headquarters for the charity. We are very proud of our new home and excited about the opportunity the space provides for holding events, talks and workshops. As we develop new projects, our headquarters will provide a space where art and mental health care begin to come together, where knowledge, creativity and experience is exchanged, providing the opportunity for the meaningful collaboration between artists, NHS staff and service users which is so fundamental to our charity.

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So what better way to celebrate Hospital Rooms’ brand new headquarters than with a special event hosting a discussion between artist Richard Wentworth and ward manager Reid Baboolal. Richard Wentworth CBE has played a leading role in New British Sculpture since the 1970s, creating daring work which has challenged traditional definitions of sculpture and been exhibited in some of the best galleries and cultural institutions worldwide. A passionate educator, he has also taught many leading British artists, including Damian Hirst, Sarah Lucas and Rachael Whiteread. Reid Balboolal is the ward manager at Garnet Ward for older people with dementia and other mental health challenges; it was our project at Garnet Ward that brought Richard and Reid together and the two quickly formed a great friendship.

Reid’s dedication to his patients and determination to make Garnet Ward the very best it could be was an inspiration to all of us. Enthusiastic and committed from the outset, he played a central role in helping us to realise our project, supporting us not only with the practicalities of working onsite but also contributing his own imaginative ideas and creative flair as we planned and developed the transformation of Garnet Ward.

“Reid thought like an artist, was open to all ideas and wanted the rooms to have ‘heart and soul’” — Tim A Shaw, Hospital Rooms co-founder

Richard Wentworth made several lengthy visits to Garnet Ward, to identify, as he said, “ways to be helpful”. Eventually he created seven unique works exploring the theme of recognition, using images cut from newspapers.

“Recognition' seems to me quite the most amazing aspect of being human - the way we re-cognise things and people. I've been working on something which is 'at one remove' - the way we claim to recognise people in newspapers. Low-quality print, assorted scales, colour and black and white, yet we think we can name somebody! It occurred to me that the old tradition of pinning up heroes might be a way to approach my commission at the Garnet Ward. For the greater part we distinguish people from animals and objects, so I thought that putting up images of people we might recognise mixed up with ones we might not, could ask us all some important questions.”

— Richard Wentworth

 Hospital Rooms co-founder Niamh White welcomes the guests and introduces the event before handing over to co-founder Tim A Shaw, ward manager Reid Baboolal and artist Richard Wentworth.

Hospital Rooms co-founder Niamh White welcomes the guests and introduces the event before handing over to co-founder Tim A Shaw, ward manager Reid Baboolal and artist Richard Wentworth.

On Friday evening guests arrived at Hospital Rooms’ new office, filling the space with conversations about art, healthcare and collaboration, about projects past, present and future. The opportunity to be present at this unique and intimate event created a buzz of interest and enthusiasm in the room.

Following an introduction from Hospital Rooms co-founder Niamh White and an initial prompt from fellow co-founder Tim A Shaw, the discussion between Reid and Richard was soon in full flow.

Reid and Richard each gave us their thoughts and impressions of Garnet Ward going into the project with Hospital Rooms. For Reid it is the place he has dedicated most of his career to managing, seeing it through a number of transitions and increasing demands for the 14 beds. His describes his work as “challenging and rewarding” but it is work he loves, a point he reiterates during the hour-long conversation:

“As a ward manager I see myself as very lucky. I have a beautiful ward and work with wonderful staff and I love what I do. We at the ground level have our own micro-climate - we make the best of what we have.”

 Reid Baboolal, Garnet Ward ward manager, in conversation with artist Richard Wentworth at Hospital Rooms new headquarters.

Reid Baboolal, Garnet Ward ward manager, in conversation with artist Richard Wentworth at Hospital Rooms new headquarters.

Reid explained to the audience the nature of Garnet Ward and the complex patients it cares for - older people with various mental health issues including a high proportion of individuals with a diagnosis of dementia as well as physical challenges associated with old age. On learning that Hospital Rooms would be working with Garnet Ward Reid said, “I just felt rather lucky that I got this call and told this project was coming. I just went, ‘Yay!’ It was such an easy gift, such an easy thing to do.”

Reid’s “tender but professional” description of Garnet Ward, as Richard referred to it, was the point of view of one who knows the space intimately, whose familiarity, ease and genuine love for the ward has developed from years spent caring for staff and patients. It is a point of view informed by the human connections Reid associates with the ward, rather than the institutional nature of the physical environment.

It was the latter, however, that Richard wanted to convey for the audience, candidly sharing his increasing trepidation as he travelled to Garnet Ward for the first time. A natural and captivating storyteller, Richard painted a vivid picture for the audience of his first visit to Garnet Ward: his long walk up the Holloway Road and his troubling associations with the area, feeling the weight of history both personal and political. It may have surprised the audience to hear Richard admit the nerves he felt as he got closer to entering the ward; passing through one locked door after another he became ever more aware of the institutional nature of the space he was entering, uneasy in the unfamiliar hospital environment. “But then I heard Reid’s voice”, and in his natural instinctive way Reid immediately made Richard feel more at ease - “I was humbled and thrilled”. Fear of the impersonal “institution” was replaced by the pleasure of connecting deeply with another person, forming a relationship defined by affection, trust and mutual curiosity. The two were soon exchanging stories and experiences and discovering their shared passions and outlook on life.

Among the many qualities and interests that Richard and Reid have in common is their natural warmth and genuine interest in finding connection with others, as Richard said, “The undertone of this is something to do with recognising difference and then going, ‘what fun!’. There’s a great pleasure in that”.

Ahead of his first meeting with Richard, Reid admitted he spent some time googling the artist: “I like to know the person I’m dealing with. I like to find out about them”. This urge to find out is more than just curiosity, however, it speaks to Reid’s empathic approach to working with people: “It’s about trying to reach and trying to get a kinship with the other”

For Richard, strong relationships built on trust and openness give a sense of security that can enable one to be creatively daring and step into unfamiliar territory:

“Confide and confidence are the same thing. If you confide in someone you gain confidence and if you gain confidence you take risks.”

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“Maybe I should say how frightened I was. But it’s important to talk about the usefulness of that fear: You don’t want to patronise, or condescend an enormous range of people, you want to do your best …You’re asking yourself, ‘What can I do that will be a good speculative gift?’ But I never felt that I was the supplier, or that Reid was the client - in these relationships language is so important.” Hospital Rooms co-founder Tim A Shaw agrees, “There’s no bestowing of anything”

That sense of equality, mutual respect and creative partnership Richard highlights is fundamentally important to the ethos and working practice of Hospital Rooms. For Reid the relationships he, his staff and his patients forged with the artists who participated in the Garnet Ward project allayed his initial nerves about how they might transform spaces he naturally felt protective of: “I felt really connected, with all the artists. You guys were really inclusive, you got involved with the patients, showing them your work, including people in discussion”. From TIm’s point of view, it was Reid who helped facilitate that connection with patients “The project was so successful because your advice to us was ‘Don’t second guess people’”. Reid’s deep understanding of his patients’ experience of the ward and his compassion for the challenges they encounter, not to mention his attention to detail, was invaluable to the Hospital Rooms project and all who were a part of it. None of the artists opted to take on the shower room at Garnet but Reid was determined to improve this space. He explained that the shower room is where the older people are at their most vulnerable. A lot can happen in there and the loss of dignity patients may experience makes it a particularly challenging space for them to be in. This also presents a challenge for staff caring for people whilst using this room. “We don’t think about the functionality of the bathroom if we are able but we do if we are disabled”. Reid was emphatic that the dreary and damp space was in desperate need of attention, “I said, if no one will do it I will get up on a ladder and do it myself”. Even though it was outside original project plan, Tim and Niamh took Reid’s guidance and made sure that the shower room was brightened up with fresh coats of paint and made a more pleasant space for patients and staff to be in.

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As the discussion continued we discovered that Richard and Reid share a passion for collecting. Over the last twenty years Reid’s home has steadily become a treasure trove, filling with all kinds of objects brought back from trips abroad:  “trinkets and ethnographic objects like masks, wooden carvings, cultural objects, religious objects, calligraphic writings. We have about 513 Virgin Mary’s and 200 buddhas. There are about 200 African masks on display on one of our walls. We are not concerned whether it is 19th century or 18th century or even a modern replica - we just buy it because we like it. I do love lovely spaces!” For Reid, part of the enjoyment of collecting is organising his objects, something he also identifies as central to his professional responsibilities:  “My life is about trying to create order and I like things very ordered. As a manager I think that is an important part of what I have to do.” 

The work Richard Wentworth has created for Garnet Ward started with a collection - of all the newspapers published on one day. Bringing this pile of newspapers to the ward, Richard began sifting through them and cutting out images, the kinds of images we encounter every day, pictures of people and places which are recognisable along with pictures we may have more difficulty placing when seen out of context. With this material Richard began arranging images into small collections, groupings which may or may not immediately appear to “make sense”, thus prompting the viewer to find their own connections and associations and draw their own conclusions - a more personal and individual experience of “recognition”.

 “We all arrange the world - its culture, it’s not about being ‘artistic’. Different cultures arrange things differently. Hospitals have their own culture, they are very codified spaces.  We don’t have to be traversed in this to recognise it, we all dismantle the world to make sense of it”.  — Richard Wentworth.

 One of seven unique new artworks by Richard Wentworth created for Garnet Ward

One of seven unique new artworks by Richard Wentworth created for Garnet Ward

 View of the corridor at Garnet Ward, with two of the works Richard created, exploring the concept of recognition

View of the corridor at Garnet Ward, with two of the works Richard created, exploring the concept of recognition

Nearing the end of the discussion, Richard Wentworth again emphasised the importance of the trust, respect, courtesy and support in the collaborative partnerships which made the Garnet Ward project possible and which seem to define the way Hospital Rooms operates: “Tim and Niamh are very immediate people. You’re not cunning or sneaky. There’s a fluency in what you do. You don’t do righteousness. You don’t do worthiness. You don’t do earnestness.”

In a final gesture of friendship, Richard produced from his pocket a small red envelope and handed it to Reid. Containing a small souvenir artefact from Bulgaria, Richard bought the gift on a trip to the country earlier in the year - “Even in Bulgaria you’re still thinking about Reid!” said Tim, whist Reid stared at the new addition to his collection, noticeably moved in speechless gratitude.

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 Richard Wentworth beginning work at Garnent Ward

Richard Wentworth beginning work at Garnent Ward

 Another piece by Richard Wentworth on the corridor wall at Garnet Ward.

Another piece by Richard Wentworth on the corridor wall at Garnet Ward.

Mounted to the walls of the corridor in Garnet Ward, Richard has positioned his work at different levels, some displayed unconventionally low down. By doing so we are reminded of the importance of changing our habitual point of view. Reid tells the audience there is currently an elderly patient at Garnet Ward who is unable to keep her head and upper body lifted and stand fully upright, so her gaze is always directed downwards. So for patients at Garnet Richard’s decision to mount his images below a typical eye level actually increases visibility of the work. The corridor can be seen from other common areas in the ward, so it is possible to catch glimpses of the images from different locations and perspectives. TIm recalls a moment when a female patient seated in the lounge noticed a picture of someone wearing a red jumper in one of Richard’s panels. This, she said, reminded her of the Arsenal football strip and she went to her bedroom to fetch an Arsenal teddy bear. A conversation about football then ensued - an interaction, a moment of connecting with others and re-connecting with the self, and a personal “recognition”, that was entirely prompted by a fragment of Richard’s artwork.

 Close-up view of one of the seven works created by Richard Wentworth for Garnet Ward.

Close-up view of one of the seven works created by Richard Wentworth for Garnet Ward.

Our projects would not be possible without the generosity and support of Hospital Rooms’ friends and donors. With your help we can transform more NHS mental health care environments across the UK and give more people the opportunity to be touched and inspired by the unique and radical work that we do.

Your donations really do make a difference.  

Hospital Rooms and ES1 awarded Quality Improvement Project of the Year 2018

We are thrilled to announce that our project at Eileen Skellern 1, a psychiatric intensive care unit for women at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, has been recognised on a national scale and won an award for Quality Improvement Project of the Year from The National Association of Psychiatric Intensive Care and Low Secure Units (NAPICU). This highly competitive category focuses on innovative practice in the care of patients in psychiatric intensive care units and quality improvements that ensure care is safe, effective, efficient and, crucially, patient-centred, maintaining focus on the patient as an individual.

 Julian Opie,  Four Pigeons,  in the corridor at ES1

Julian Opie, Four Pigeons, in the corridor at ES1

 Nengi Omuku at work in the Family Room at ES1

Nengi Omuku at work in the Family Room at ES1

 Detail of a photograph by Harold Offeh, created for ES1

Detail of a photograph by Harold Offeh, created for ES1

 Detail of ES1’s Seating Area, by Aimee Mullins

Detail of ES1’s Seating Area, by Aimee Mullins

Our project at Eileen Skellern 1 involved seven artists - Paresha Amin, Aimee Mullins, Harold Offeh, Nengi Omuku, Julian Opie, Tamsin Relly and Tim A Shaw - and took around 18 months to complete. The artists and Hospital Rooms worked in partnership with the patients and staff on ES1 PICU to improve the quality of care for patients and change the physical environment with innovative artworks produced exclusively for the unit. The award highlights how a physical environment on a ward can have a big impact on the quality of the patient experience and the effectiveness of the care they receive.  

It is easy to see the arts as a soft or alternative approach, but this award places a real value on the positive impact it can have in a clinical setting. Everyone involved worked tirelessly to come up with imaginative and physically safe artworks for Eileen Skellern 1 Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit for women and we are so proud of all we have all collectively achieved.
— Niamh White, co-founder of Hospital Rooms
 Hospital Rooms’ founders Tim A Shaw and Niamh White celebrate winning NAPICU Quality Improvement project of the year with members of the team from Eileen Skellern 1, including consultant psychiatrist Dr Faisil Sethi, ward manager Onyeka Nwankwo, occupational therapist Rebecca Davies, and SPR Dr Sophie Butler.

Hospital Rooms’ founders Tim A Shaw and Niamh White celebrate winning NAPICU Quality Improvement project of the year with members of the team from Eileen Skellern 1, including consultant psychiatrist Dr Faisil Sethi, ward manager Onyeka Nwankwo, occupational therapist Rebecca Davies, and SPR Dr Sophie Butler.

The ES1 team are so proud that all our hard work in our collaboration with Hospital Rooms has been recognised. As a team we really enjoyed working on the project and planning the transformation of the ward alongside the patients over a period of eighteen months. The addition of the art work has made such a huge difference to the physical environment and subsequently the therapeutic atmosphere on the ward and both staff and patients have benefitted greatly.
— Rebecca Davies, occupational therapist on ES1
This project has enhanced the quality of care provided to our patients in the psychiatric intensive care unit. It is a privilege to be part of this team, and this award recognises what can be achieved through dedicated teamwork
— Dr Faisil Sethi, Consultant Psychiatrist on ES1
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“It has positively transformed the physical environment on ES1 to be much more therapeutic for the patients. This award acknowledges the hard work and dedication of ES1 and Hospital Rooms teams in ensuring successful completion of the project despite the challenges faced due to the acuity of the ward.”

— Onyeka Nwankwo, ward manager on ES1

 Harold Offeh’s work in the TV Room at ES1

Harold Offeh’s work in the TV Room at ES1

 Paresha Amin’s completed wall painting in ES1’s Interview Room

Paresha Amin’s completed wall painting in ES1’s Interview Room

 The Main Lounge at ES1, transformed by Tamsin Relly.

The Main Lounge at ES1, transformed by Tamsin Relly.

Our projects would not be possible without the generosity and support of Hospital Rooms’ friends and donors. With your help we can transform more NHS mental health care environments across the UK and give more people the opportunity to be touched and inspired by the unique and radical work that we do.

Your donations really do make a difference.  

Dionne Monarch: an OT's perspective

DIonne Monarch is Snowsfields' Occupational Therapist. Dionne played a central part in our project at the unit, taking on different roles to enable the work of our commissioned artists and facilitate the involvement of patients and staff. We could not be more grateful for her tireless efforts to ensure the progress and smooth running of our project and her support of our work at every stage of the process.

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Tamsin Relly: The journey of an artwork told in pictures

Among the artists commissioned for our project at Eileen Skellern 1, a psychiatric intensive care unit for women at The Maudsley Hospital, was South-African born Tamsin Relly. Tamsin's dedication to our project at Eileen Skellern 1 and the sensitivity of her approach to creating work with and for the service users and staff was an inspiration to all of us at Hospital Rooms. So in this week's blog post we're shining a light on Tamsin's work at ES1, following its development, creation and ongoing impact.

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Escape Within

Many of the artists we have commissioned have created work which aims to bring the outside in, recognising patients’ limited contact with nature if they are confined to a ward and their freedom is restricted. From Sutapa Biswas’ immersive garden mural, to Julian Opie’s birds, Michael O’Reilly’s scenic painting to Steve Macleod’s landscape photography, our artists have used the natural world to transform enclosed clinical spaces in a whole variety of ways.

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