“There’s no lights on the Xmas tree momma, they’re burnin’ an artist tonight!”

Powerful thoughts from Mike White about ridiculous report in The Independent criticising (really quite minimal) spending on art in hospitals. Obviously, because I’m working as a curator in an NHS trust, I may appear to have vested interests. Nonetheless, Mike’s response is important.

Centre for Medical Humanities Blog

Mike White writes: There was a hatchet job in Sunday’s Independent on arts in hospitals based on perfunctory information extracted on NHS expenditure on art works (accessible here). Those of us who are driving the development of the National Alliance for Arts and Health are deliberating whether to make a response as the piece appears at a time when an all-party parliamentary group is being established in Westminster to consider the place and purpose of arts in health. In my view we should let this article lie (literally?) as the media hack’s angle on arts and healthcare is invariably obtuse, out to expunge aesthetics from the hospital league tables in favour of ‘patient choice’. Substitutional service expenditure on ‘what really matters’ in the NHS is put forward without the caveat that most hospital art works are funded from external sources and capital budgets. So believe what we read and…

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