Dept of Health

See also the ‘UK govts‘ page for more information about central and devolved government publications and developments relating to arts and health.


The arts and health working party set up by the Department of Health published a report was published in 2007 which outlined the findings of its review of arts and health, and made recommendations to the Department of Health. It stated that:

  • arts and health is integral to health, healthcare provision and healthcare environments
  • arts and health initiatives are delivering real and measurable benefits across a range of government priority areas, and can help the Department of Health and NHS to contribute to wider government initiatives
  • there is a wealth of good practice and a substantial evidence base.

See the: Report of the review of (Dept of  Health) Arts and Health Working Party (Cayton, 2007)


Following the review, the Department of Health published jointly with the Arts Council of England, a ‘Prospectus for Arts and Health (2007)’. The prospectus includes research and evidence, and examples of projects and initiatives which demonstrate the value of arts and health. The Department’s foreword by Andy Burnham and David Lammy states that:

“Those who are involved in the wealth of activity across the country have amply demonstrated the tangible benefits of arts and health. Hundreds of research projects, organisations and individuals are showing that the arts are an integral part of the nature and quality of the services we provide. They reveal the effectiveness and value of arts and health initiatives, and the benefits they bring to patients, services users and their carers, and to communities and healthcare workers in every sector.” Andy Burnham MP (previously Minister of State for Delivery and Quality, Department of Health), David Lammy MP (previously Minister for Culture, Department for Culture, Media and Sport).


Following these developments, in 2008, the then Secretary of State for Health, said:

I would like to see the benefits of participation in the arts recognized more widely by health and social care professionals, particularly those involved in commissioning services for people with mental health problems. This is not some kind of eccentric add-on – it should be part of the mainstream in both health and social care. And through the Arts/Health Group that’s been set up in my department, we will be looking at what more we can do to provide guidance, where to go for advice on best practice and sources of funding for clinicians and arts professionals.”
Rt Hon Alan Johnson, then Secretary of State for Health, 16 September 2008: speaking at the event ‘Open to all: mental health, social inclusion, and museums and galleries’.





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