Creative Voucher Scheme
Vital Arts and Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design
Rachel Louis, Vital Arts
Patricia Austin and Luise Vormittag, Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design
How can the population of the Royal London’s Renal Unit transform their micro-locality through art and design interventions?
Rachel Louis and Patricia Austin’s project started with an observation: The Renal Unit at the Royal London Hospital has over 1,200 patients, with each patient required to spend 15 hour a week receiving dialysis, and a 80% chance of never receiving a kidney transplant, a significant portion of their lives are spent in hospital. Their answer, explore ways of improving patient experiences at the micro-locality via activities and design interventions, engage and enrich patient experience, ultimately building a sense of place and community.
To this end the pair began by consulting patients and staff at the Royal London Hospital, looking to understanding their wants and needs. This research fed into a report containing a literature review, exploration of existing hospital interventions, and details of acceptable research methodology and ethical issues. In the report three potential projects were outlined:
1. a blanket designed in consultation with patients
In consultation with the hospital the first and third concept were deemed to present logistical problems. The blanket would be an issue for the NHS cleaners, whilst the live stream received authorisation from the IT department, Health & Safety teams and Fire Safety it wasn’t financially viable.
However, the cookbook was piloted combining the national cuisines of patients with the knowledge of NHS dieticians. The project resulted in a series of sample recipe cards that were distributed to patients and a short youtube documentary.
For Vital Arts the project has helped develop relations with senior staff and contractors, it has also given them an opportunity to explore and adapt to the challenges of working with the NHS and the many considerations they are concerned with.
The partnership has made a proposal to the Barts Charity to continue the cookbook project.
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