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P-1 Arts and palliative care at the prince and princess of wales hospice
  1. Jeni Pearson and
  2. Kirsty Stansfield
  1. Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice, Glasgow, UK


The arts and creative writing service at the hospice has developed from a 2-year pilot project funded by Scottish Arts Council, now Creative Scotland, in 2002, to become a fully integrated, stand-alone service for patients, family members and carers in 2015, running 4 days per week. Referrals are made to the service from Inpatient wards, Out Patients and Day Services.

The Art and Creative Writing Service’s overarching aim is to divert focus from that which is failing to what can still flourish. Creativity is key to realising one’s sense of identity. The service aims to give people the opportunity to develop their own creativity, to express themselves and importantly, the chance to engage with a relaxing and meaningful activity during a difficult time in life. The service gives people back some of the control they have lost through illness, disability and caring responsibilities.

Creative interventions with patients, families and carers promote independence and exceed expectations using a range of art materials and techniques in a dedicated art room. Rather than structured group tuition, all sessions are patient-led and supported by qualified practicing artists. Unlike art therapy it is never the intention to analyse or explore issues raised by the creative process. Clients access the creative process on many levels, always directed by themselves and sensitively supported by art staff.

Creativity is recognised as a fundamental aspect of living a ‘good’ life. Our process-led approach results in absorbing and rewarding experiences that help alleviate anxiety and provide relaxation, resulting in a positive outcome for clients.

Developed in co-production with patients, family members and carers, an integrated arts service complements a holistic and multi-disciplinary approach to palliative care. It is responsive to hospice developments and longer term strategies, as patient demographics expand and new priorities are identified.

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