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Welsh Arts Council unites with NHS to promote health benefits of culture

The Arts Council of Wales has struck a three-year agreement with the Welsh NHS Confederation to promote the benefits of culture to well-being.

The agreement, a memorandum of understanding, pledges that the two organisations will work together for the first time to champion the role of arts in health and to create “a more equal, cultural and sustainable Wales”.

The Welsh NHS Confederation is the membership body that represents Wales’ seven local health boards and its three NHS trusts.

The partnership hopes to build on existing collaborations between the two sectors in Wales, enabling more people to experience positive health and well-being effects through the arts and also help reduce demand on NHS services.

Andrew Davies, chair of Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board and the Welsh NSH Confederation Policy Committee, said that together, the two organisations would “further raise awareness of arts initiatives, support the advancement of good practice and help increase public recognition of the health and well-being benefits of being creatively active”.

Phil George, chair of the Arts Council of Wales, added that there is “growing and resilient evidence” of the benefits that arts participation can have on mental health, well-being and recovery from physical illness.

“This memorandum will allow us to promote these benefits to the Welsh public and to policymakers,” he added.