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North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS


Home > News > Young patients rewarded for artistic efforts

Young patients rewarded for artistic efforts

Posted on Tuesday 30th December 2014
Art competition winners

Mr Fraser Smith with the competition winners

Three talented youngsters who turned their hospital stays into works of art have been rewarded for their efforts.

North Cumbria University Hospitals ran an art competition called ‘My time in hospital’ which was open to all under 11s staying on the children’s wards at the Cumberland Infirmary and West Cumberland Hospital. This was facilitated by the play therapists on both sites, who encouraged children to draw a picture to sum up their time in hospital.

From a large number of entries, the top 24 were chosen to be displayed in the art gallery in the atrium at the Cumberland Infirmary, which was established earlier this year as part of a major push to improve the hospital environment through quality art and design benefiting everyone, patients and staff alike. As part of this initiative, the Trust set up a steering group tasked with creating the very best environmental design and art work at the Cumberland Infirmary and West Cumberland Hospital, known as the Evidence Based Design (EBD) committee.

Members of the EBD committee, together with Trust chief executive Ann Farrar, had the tough job of picking three prize winners from those on display. First prize of an annual family pass to Walby Farm Park went to five-year-old Payton Telfer, of Workington, who drew a picture of his stay in the Cumberland Infirmary to have his tonsils removed.

Payton’s mum Teresa Telfer said: “He was chuffed to bits when I told him he had won, he was hopping up and down, and he loved seeing his picture up on the wall. He draws a lot at home so when the play worker asked if he wanted to draw a picture after he came round from his anaesthetic, he was really happy. He was obsessed with his tonsils and what had happened to them after the doctor had taken them out, so he made sure they were in the picture, in a jar! Everyone made his time in hospital really good; the staff there were absolutely brilliant with him.”

Second prize went to Hallie McMillan, aged 10, of Harraby, Carlisle, and third was six-year-old Lacey Gray, of Morton, Carlisle.

Consultant surgeon Fraser Smith, chair of the EBD committee, studied the impact of art in hospitals at the University of London. He explained: “It is a scientifically proven fact that excellent art and design improves the overall experience of being in hospital and directly impacts on patient recovery rates and boosts staff morale and therefore productivity. This latest display at the Cumberland Infirmary art gallery has been very well received, with a lot of positive feedback from staff, visitors and patients. All of our prize winners really enjoyed completing the task and were absolutely delighted with their prizes, which were so generously donated by Walby Farm Park, so a big thank you to them.”

The children’s art display can still be seen in the atrium at the Cumberland Infirmary. A new art show will be launched in the New Year with the aim of gathering ideas for the design of a new sensory garden at the front entrance of the Cumberland Infirmary. Aimed to give a great experience to hospital users, the new show will invite patients, visitors and staff to submit A4-sized ideas, such as drawings, photos or photo-montages/drawings, detailing what they would like to see. These ideas will not only form the basis of the new show but also help to shape how the new sensory garden is finally designed. More information on how to enter will be released early in 2015.