Art and private healthcare: a winning combination

Art and private healthcare

Art and medicine may not seem like the most obvious bedfellows. In fact, some of you may be thinking that we must have gone quite mad even to mention them in the same breath. But stay with us and you will understand how original art and private healthcare can work together.

Painting in hospitals is the UK’s leading national arts in health charity, born to reinforce this idea. Through the years, the founder Sheridan Russell (1900-1991) inspired many people to see the importance of art in healthcare. This is why they are dedicated to bringing art to everyone through artwork loans and art activities in all types of healthcare and social care.

Spare a moment to think about a nervous patient waiting to see you…

Do you think they are likely to be more relaxed in a rather clinical environment with posters advertising cosmetic procedures, or in a more comfortable room with bright and interesting pictures on the walls? It doesn’t take a lot of thought to work out that people will be more comfortable in a more homely environment.

That’s why private hospitals often have big pastel-coloured original artworks on the walls. Medstars podiatrist, Andrew Robinson, was kind enough to share some of his own artwork with us, displayed in his foot clinic in Hertfordshire.

When I display clinical images of feet nobody comments. But when I display original artwork I get a lot of engagement from patients!
I display my own watercolour paintings as well as artwork loaned from professional local artists. My own artwork gets both positive and negative feedback! I like that my patients are honest with me though – it shows the close relationship we have built.

If you’re running a clinic or renting a space to use as a clinic on a weekly basis, it’s well worth thinking about the effect of the environment on your patients. Investing in some beautiful artwork for the walls could well have a beneficial effect on them, reducing stress and calming their nerves as they wait for their appointment.

Art and private healthcare
Andrew’s clinic painting.

Artwork also says quite a lot about you and your values.

It’s always good to support your local community, and showcasing the work of local artists is a great way to connect with those around you whilst contributing to the local economy. One clinic in London has taken this idea further and teamed up with a local art gallery to regularly showcase works of art by contemporary and modern artists. For the gallery, it offers an opportunity to display works for longer than the usual gallery timetable would allow. They have noticed that customers often need several months to make a decision about a purchase, so a longer display time makes a lot of sense.

For the clinic, it’s a chance to improve the aesthetic surroundings without having to make any significant investment in artwork. The artists and artworks have been chosen carefully to brighten and enhance the atmosphere of the clinic. Some have even been selected to fit with particular clinical departments. Our particular favourite is the placement of a series of photo-etchings of TV screens on the same floor as the X-ray department.

Patients can view the artworks whenever they visit, even building up a relationship with them over time. If they find that they fall in love with one in particular, then purchase is, of course, an option: a win for everyone involved.

My own artwork is a mixture of landscapes, motorbike and also cartoon style photos such as 9 Napoleonic soldiers! They’re very unique. With the professional paintings, I display them for about a year and then switch it up.

Art and private healthcare
Andrew Robinson’s artwork.

The importance of image

As well as being a fantastic way to support your local artist community, business consultants, especially those with a background in marketing, will always tell you that image, or brand, is crucial when setting up a new business. Original artwork could play a part in yours.


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