Call for arts on prescription

Think tank the CentreForum has issued a call for social prescribing (such as arts on prescription) to be made available in every GP practice in the country.

DCMS research into wellbeing impact of the arts

The Department for Culture has published two reports, undertaken by researchers at the London School of Economics, investigating the social and wellbeing impacts of culture and sport.  The first report “Quantifying the Social Impacts of Sport and Culture” attempts to assess the links between culture and sport and a number of social measures including health.  A key finding was that those engaging with the arts as an audience member were 5.4% more likely to report good health than the general population.

Art and physical activity

We are seeking examples of good practice in the use of the arts to engage people with physical activity. LAHF has been commissioned by Public Health England to explore the ways in which the arts can increase physical activity and can move individuals from inactivity into regular activity. As well as looking at research into this area, we are hoping to find illustrations of good practice that demonstrate the variety of ways in which different arts practice can encourage physical activity.

Research enquiry

The National Alliance for Arts Health and Wellbeing and the UK Arts and Health Research Network have responded to the Arts Council Cultural Value report - http://www.lahf.org.uk/arts-council-review-cultural-value, by calling for additional evidence which supports the impact of the arts on health. Both organisations have been in contact with the Arts Council about the limited scope of the published report.

American programme for arts and health for the military

Americans for the Arts have issued a comprehensive publication exploring the ways in which the arts can support current and ex-servicemen and women. The publication, 'Arts, Health and Wellbeing Across the Military Continuum’ outlines the research that has thus far been undertaken into the impact of the arts on health problems like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. It also includes practical guidance for setting up arts activities with veterans and calls for changes in military policy to better integrate the arts into health and care for the services.

Arts impacts in prisons

The National Offender Management Service has published a review of the outcomes of arts projects with offenders. The review determines that while there is a lack of good-quality research evidence that explores the impact of arts projects with offenders, the best available evidence indicates that arts projects are effective at improving in-prison behaviour (such as compliance with rules and engagement with the regime) and individual psychological factors (such as depression and a sense of purpose).

London - the loneliest place in Britain

In the same week as Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt decried the “national shame” of loneliness among older people, London was revealed as the loneliest place in Britain with 52% of Londoners feeling lonely “to some extent”. The figures were revealed as part of a BBC survey. The Campaign to End Loneliness reports that loneliness is associated with poor mental, physical and emotional health, including increased rates of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, cognitive decline and dementia.

Profile highlights London’s health inequalities

The latest update of London’s poverty profile – an independent analysis of available data – indicates that the number of people living in poverty in London is significantly higher than the rest of the UK. 28% of Londoners are living in poverty as compared to 21% in the country as a whole; many of those living in poverty are from working families. Further to this, poverty in the outer London boroughs is on the rise. This is the fourth edition of the annual survey (which is carried out by New Policy Institute).

Government figures show increase in arts participation

More than half of all adults in England have visited a museum or gallery over the past year according to the latest update from the Government’s Taking Part survey. The 53% figure, which is higher than ever before shows a marked increase from the 42% of adults who had visited a museum or gallery in the year the survey started in 2006. Alongside this, 78% have attended or participated in the arts over the year from July 2012-June 2013, again an increase on previous years. Over the same period, library attendance has dropped significantly.

Commission on Residential Care –call for evidence

Think tank Demos has issued a call for evidence as part of its Commission examining residential care. The Commission, which is chaired by former care services minister Paul Burstow MP, was formed to develop a new vision of residential care that would fulfil the demands of a new generation of care users. Its aim is to create a vision for the future of residential care which can deliver on the outcomes that 21st century care users want and value.


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