Background The hospice’s services are orientated towards a self-management agenda. As part of this we support service users to access community experiences to increase their social interaction and feelings of empowerment. This also raises community awareness of hospice services.
Aims Music can enhance and maintain wellbeing in adults with diagnosed conditions. Our Orchestra Outreach initiative is an example of innovative partnership working, empowering people to access creative opportunities, leading to increased wellbeing. The hospice is situated near to an auditorium where a world-renowned orchestra rehearses. The orchestra manager invites our patients, carers, volunteers and staff to attend their rehearsals. This opens up wellbeing opportunities for all.
Method Hospice staff liaise with the orchestra manager to get the rehearsal programme which is then circulated through various mediums. Staff accompany the group initially and then members of the group come and go as they please, thus encouraging self-management decisions. Hospice staff record who has attended each performance.
Results From October 2018 – May 2019, 70 members of our community have attended performances. Participants reported feelings of enjoyment and relaxation, as well commenting on the special delight that comes with gaining a unique insight into that which is usually hidden from view. Staff members have talked enthusiastically about being immersed in music within their working day. Musicians from the orchestra have become aware of the hospice services, and have come in to play within the hospice itself. More formal evaluation of the impact of the experience on our participants is being developed.
Conclusion Orchestra Outreach is a way of offering patients, their families and carers a ‘normalising’ experience they can share. The orchestra are keen to continue their partnership with the hospice. A full evaluation of the project is recommended.
‘Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without’, Confucius.