A new guide aims to encourage people in the arts and health services to work together to prevent illness and improve wellbeing.
The Art of the Possible, produced by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH), is aimed at local authorities, clinical commissioning groups, NHS hospital trusts and other health bodies.
It says studies increasingly highlight the positive impact on the health and wellbeing of people taking part in arts and culture. Research carried out for a cross-party group of MPs recently highlighted several examples of savings made because hospital admissions were reduced as a result of arts projects.
This guide is for commissioners of health and wellbeing who may not, as yet, have partnered with arts and cultural organisations. It highlights partnerships between health and wellbeing bodies and the arts and cultural sector which are delivering better outcomes. It illustrates how the creativity of the cultural sector is being used to develop whole person approaches. It endorses early involvement of the arts and cultural sector in planning and commissioning of services, to enable fresh thinking on new ways of working.