DCMS facing further cuts

The Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) has been told to model Spending Review cuts worth 25% and 40% of their resource budgets by 2019–20 – the same level of reductions requested ahead of the 2010 Spending Review.

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Design for dementia

The Department of Health has published a set of design principles for dementia-friendly environments in healthcare buildings. The guidance highlights the importance of artwork in the environment as well as calling for dedicated spaces for music and reminiscence activities.

The guidance draws together the best current knowledge for healthcare needs and has been published as best practice guidance for healthcare providers.

Brighton and Hove wellbeing

Brighton and Hove Council has published a health and wellbeing strategy which embeds cultural activity in the delivery of wellbeing for residents.

The Council has also appointed a number of wellbeing champions including cultural figures to generate impacts in wellbeing across the council’s activity.

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The Art of Social Prescribing: new project funded by AHRC

The Institute of Cultural Capital’s (ICC) Kerry Wilson has received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to research arts-based social prescribing, in collaboration with Professor Rhiannon Corcoran of the Heseltine Institute for Public Policy and Practice at the University of Liverpool. Funded under the AHRC’s recent ‘public policy’ highlight notice, ‘The Art of Social Prescribing’ has been designed to inform the future development of clinical commissioning policy on arts and cultural interventions in mental health care.

Government plans for mental health

The Government has published details of its efforts to bring parity to mental health provision and acute care. The proposals include a focus on wellbeing and the provision of a wide range of therapies, as well as funds to challenge the stigma attached to mental ill health.  The report also looks at inequalities of provision in mental health care particularly for older people, military veterans and people in the criminal justice system.

Research framework published

Tim Joss, Director of the Rayne Foundation, has published a new methodological framework for arts in health designed to create a link between arts activity and health research. The framework, compiled with the input of a range of people working in the arts and in health, examines the steps involved in a developing an arts intervention in health and associated research study.

Government includes wellbeing in planning framework

For the first time, health and wellbeing has been incorporated into the National Planning Policy Framework, requiring local authorities to consider the health and wellbeing of local communities as a factor in weighing up planning proposals. In its recent update to the Planning Framework, the Government incorporated chapters on health and wellbeing emphasising the impact planning policy can have on health inequalities, physical activity and community cohesion.

Proposals for wellbeing

A new report has called for the application of new measures of wellbeing to determine public policy. The Commission on Wellbeing and Policy, Chaired by Lord Gus O’Donnell, former Head of the Civil Service and sponsored by think-tank the Legatum Institute aims to explain the concept of wellbeing and to suggest how it can be used to improve policy making.

New Parliamentary Group for Arts and Health

The new All Party Parliamentary Group for Arts, Health and Wellbeing formally met for the first time earlier this month and agreed to formally establish and to plan a series of meetings over the next eighteen months. Attended by a significant number of peers and MPs from all parties, the group discussed the key areas of interest in the field of arts and health and will be mounting a series of events for all parliamentarians to share the latest thinking about the impact the arts can have on the nation’s health and wellbeing.

Parliamentary discussions about wellbeing and culture

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Wellbeing met last week to discuss the role of culture in wellbeing. Invited speakers included Alan Davey from Arts Council England and Gareth Maeer from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Group is compiling a report about the impact of Government activity on wellbeing which will be published in 2014.


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