A key aim for these works was to demystify the process of taking x-ray images and explain to patients the science behind the process in workshops with the equipment. Staff and the public were involved in bringing interest objects and revealing their structure or content by using x-rays with a qualified radiographer. The children particularly enjoyed the workshop process, seeing science being brought alive and learning with their parents seemed a mutually beneficial and fun experience. 95% of participants from the workshops said they would be interested in using the Radiology equipment again and had enjoyed the opportunity.
From these sessions we were able to collect data from the groups about what they wanted in terms of information from leaflets and staff they may meet. It was good to collect this data on their concerns in order to develop effective communication, and to combat their fears as much as possible. It is important to create (wherever possible) positive experiences within the hospital environment to reduce stress for further visits if required.
Yeovil District Hospital has a strong i-care philosophy that champion’s clear and sensitive communication, which made it a great environment to explore the ideas of the project. Artistic collaborations can be key in rejuvenating communication. The relationship between the public and healthcare professionals is a fragile one and the success of medical interventions is often reliant on trust between patients and staff. Successful communication is a good basis for trust and the potential for using non-written communication has been the basis of the project.
Patients rarely see their imagery since the advent of digital radiography so part of the work produced enabled a display of the different modalities to show patients that each area views the body in different ways. Hopefully to convey that each test looks at the body in a different way, be that structurally or functionally. This light box we created carried the hope of conveying the range and type of images patients could expect.
It is hoped that a greater understanding of what we do in x-ray and how that is achieved could be made more personal by arranging the human image light box alongside familiar everyday objects. The project hopefully has been firmly rooted in its aim of serving the public as the pictures were made by them and chosen via voting. The staff felt ownership of the project as they were also involved in creating and choosing the images with the artist. They are more likely therefore to communicate the aims to the public.
Inter-professional working has been very beneficial between the artist and Radiographers. In the rush of a busy NHS day Radiographers often have to work very fast. In contrast to the artist who works slowly and meticulously, analysing each part of the process and questioning the equipment. From the discussions we have renewed old dusty physics principals that have shown themselves when imaging objects. We have refreshed pride in the images we produce and have widened our understanding of the equipment.
The final stages of evaluation are just taking place, fingers crossed the feedback on the visual artworks will be as positive as the workshops ! Written by Sasha Moore, Senior Radiographer, Yeovil District Hospital
As artist-in-residence at Yeovil District Hospital, Hugh Turvey will collaborate with a senior radiographer and a consultant radiologist to explore the potential for using imaging equipment to help engage patients in understanding the interventions they experience. Patients and staff will attend sessions with the artist to explore the creative potential of the equipment and artwork will be produced for the department. The artist and medical staff share an interest in the semiotics of images and the way that the creative manipulation of images could be used to educate patients and demystify complex investigations. Patients will be invited to take part in a further phase of the project to develop material to increase public understanding of radiology. A parallel residency at the British Institute of Radiology will enable the artist to develop this communication material and at this point methods of piloting and disseminating the material at a national level will be explored.
Touring exhibition 2011-2015
Working within Radiology it became apparent that it could be educational and fun to produce a series of images relevant to patients and staff. The general x-ray equipment generates thousands of images every day and we thought x-ray artist Hugh Turvey would be a perfect member of the team so we invited him to work in residency with the public and staff to create the art. The end result was envisaged as a series of visual art pieces that would create discussions between staff and patients. This project was principally funded by the Wellcome Trust and supported by Yeovil District Hospital (YDH).
Hugh Turvey Artist in Residence, The British Institute of Radiology
Sasha Moore Senior Radiographer/Artist, YDH
Dr W.Saywell Consultant Radiologist, YDH
Dr R.Clarkson Consultant Radiologist, YDH
Caroline Barnes, Art Co-ordinator, YDH
Mrs T. Oldham, Spitalfields Music, London.
Sasha Moore is a Senior Radiographer at Yeovil District Hospital. Having received an Arts scholarship to study at Bruton school for girls and an Art award for most promising A Level art student in 2000, she chose to pursue a career as a radiographer and completed her Diagnostic Radiography degree at Cardiff in 2003, winning the David Walters Cup for achievement. She worked full time as a Diagnostic Radiographer at the Royal United Hospital Bath before deciding to do a Fine Art degree at Bath Spa University which she completed in 2007. She is currently employed full time as a Senior Radiographer at Yeovil District Hospital with a speciality in CT. She has continued her interest in Fine Art through exhibiting her work and working with the Bath Fringe Arts Festival, including organising temporary exhibitions and fundraising. She instigated the Inner Eye project at Yeovil District Hospital in her role as a committee member for the Arts Project group. She has a particular interest in Art and Science and the debates around this area of contemporary art practice.
Dr Richard Clarkson is a Consultant Radiologist at Yeovil Hospital having graduated from Birmingham Medical School in 1997, qualifying as a member of the Royal College of Surgeons in 2000 and completing his radiology speciality training in Edinburgh in 2007. Throughout his years as a junior surgeon the power of the pictorial representation of pathology both historical and contemporary, fascinated him. Linked with this was the ever present and often poorly executed need to communicate to patients the meaning of their diagnostic imaging in an understandable and tangible way. This led naturally to a career in radiology. A much higher percentage of radiologists and radiographers than the general public have strong background interests in art: clearly a factor in their career choice. Dr Clarkson has an A Level in art and a keen interest in black and white photography. Through his knowledge of medicine, radiological imaging modalities and the inner workings, and failures, of the human he would like to bring this understanding and unappreciated beauty to a wider audience. In particular he feels the apprehension and fear of the unknown can be debunked through medically inspired art, calming and easing patients at potentially distressing times.
Arts Coordinator – Alex Coulter
Alex Coulter is part-time arts coordinator at Dorset County Hospital where she has been involved in two Wellcome funded projects (Visiting Time 2003 and Boy Child 2005) with artist Mark Storor and producer Anna Ledgard. She has managed numerous Arts and Health projects over the last 10 years including the project ‘Room with a View’ which brings a live view of nature to Leukaemia patients confined to isolation rooms in Dorset County Hospital (budget £100,000). Based on medical research that shows a view of nature can improve medical outcomes this project is now in a development phase to take a view of Brownsea Island to patients in Poole, Yeovil, Dorchester and Bath hospitals funded by the Kay Kendall Leukaemia Fund. A pilot research project in Dorset will be developed further with a larger scale research project at Royal United Hospital Bath (pending funding). She has been a part-time arts coordinator at Yeovil District Hospital for the last 5 years with projects including an artists’ collaboration and participatory project to create a ‘space ship’ lift for children and various large scale installations of glass and sculpture with budgets ranging from £10,000 - £50,000. She is currently a free lance coordinator managing an Arts Council funded regional arts and public health project REACH with partnerships between arts and health providers in Bristol, Somerset, Devon and Dorset; she is developing an arts strategy for mental health in the Dorset Primary Care Trust and is evaluating a professional development scheme for arts managers in Dorset (AMONITE). Other evaluation experience includes evaluating a dance project for older people in various care centres in Dorset and the dissertation for her MSc looking at the impact of the hospital environment on perceptions of the organisation. She helped found and was the first Chair of Arts and Health South West, a regional networking organisation for arts and health professionals and she is currently Vice Chair of the Culture Theme Group of the Dorset Strategic Partnership. She has extensive experience of strategy, planning and delivering arts and health projects and has worked with many collaborations and partnerships across the health and arts sectors.
Biography of Organisation
Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust provides acute care for a population of about 180,000, mostly in South Somerset, North and West Dorset, and parts of Mendip. Each year more than 30,000 patients are admitted as inpatients or day cases; more than 90,000 people attend outpatient appointments; around 40,000 people are treated in Accident and Emergency; and some 1,300 babies are born in the Maternity Unit. The Foundation Trust has over 7,000 members and over 1,800 staff. The X-Ray Department at Yeovil District Hospital conducts approximately 100,000 examinations per annum which equates to approximately 50,000 patients coming through the department, often with relatives or carers. Approximately 80% of those will be new patients and the other 20% repeat visits. The staff in x-ray rarely have the opportunity to develop longer term relationships with patients but may see them two or three times such as in a pre-operative, post-operative and follow up sessions. This project is an important development for the arts group at Yeovil District Hospital. An arts strategy has just been approved by the hospital board, which includes the recommendation for a part-time arts coordinator post. In the past four years significant effort has been put into developing the arts project alongside a major fundraising and refurbishment campaign. Yeovil Hospital has never hosted an artist-in-residence and this will be an important next step in developing the arts programme from a more traditional focus on commissions and temporary exhibitions towards creative collaborations between artists and staff and more focus on participation. The artwork created will have significance for staff and patients and enhance the environment as well as inform the patients about the department and provide a stimulus for discussion and questioning. This is an excellent department in which to introduce an artist-in-residence and will be a model for future projects which might contribute towards staff development through creative practice.
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