A HOSPITAL arts programme has been given a national award.

Creating With Care was started by West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC) four years ago and sees patients get involved in a range of activities.

The scheme was set up by Angela Conlan and dementia nurse Paula Har after Ms Conlan originally came in as an artist in residence at Witney Community Hospital.

The initiative was soon rolled out across all six of Oxford Health’s community hospitals.

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Patients get involved in photography, mosaics, dance, drama and poetry, and during the pandemic, activity packs have been given out, along with online performances from musicians.

Over the last four years, there has been a total of 4,350 patient attendances at sessions while £39,784 has been raised for projects.

Suzi Coul, WODC’s cabinet member for leisure and health, said: “This is a wonderful initiative which sprang from an idea at the council and has proven its benefits across the county and beyond.

“To receive such national recognition is testament to its success and the passion and commitment of the team behind it.”

Creating With Care claimed the Innovation and Best Practice Improving Patient Care category at the Community Hospitals Association’s (CHA) Innovations and Best Practice Awards.

Judges said: “This work is an example of innovation and creativity at its best. You should all be so proud of developing and delivering this work... such passion, joy and intelligence – absolutely inspirational.”