The Arts in Health Multipurpose Service (MPS) Pilot Project has received the Chief Executive’s Choice Award at the Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) 2022 MLHD Excellence Awards.

The project is a high impact example of how the creative arts can be operationalised to achieve measurable benefits in clinical care contexts. It is being piloted at three sites: Culcairn, Tumbarumba and Murrumburrah-Harden.

MPS Arts in Health Program awarded 2022 MLHD Excellence Award, image supplied

The project is an innovative program that provides aged care residents at three facilities with access to professional and quality arts engagement experiences. This opportunity is provided for the enjoyment and benefit of not only Residential Aged Care residents, but also their families and health service staff.

The program supports non-pharmacological approaches to wellbeing within residential aged care settings. Research indicates engagement with the arts for those living with dementia, stimulates brain function resulting in improved speech, which is important for communication with families and staff and supports residents to engage with each other. This has positive impacts on mental wellbeing and outlook. The Program aligns with the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards, and the Aged Care Standards which support consumer dignity and choice, supports for daily living, comprehensive care and partnering with consumers. It is representative of the shifts towards more patient and person centred care in NSW Health (such as the recent Elevating the Human Experience project).

The Pilot Program is modelled on similar Art Gallery of NSW programs created for people with a lived experience of dementia. A curated display of 20 high quality, framed reproductions and an associated program of purposeful activities and materials are provided at each facility to engage aged care residents in self-guided, one-on-one and group activities led by trained staff. The works are rotated across the three sites. The Art Gallery of NSW is providing professional training and on-going professional development opportunities to health staff and guidance for family members to equip them to facilitate the program directly in their communities.

The award recognises the profound benefits perceived by staff, patients and visitors involved.

“This project has touched the hearts and minds of our staff, our patients, our residents and our broader community, and has the potential to truly integrated health beyond the walls of our hospitals and aged care residences, to truly impact on everyone in our community,” said Acting Chief Executive Carla Bailey.

The project represents exceptional value for money given the strong collaboration between Health Infrastructure, Murrumbidgee Local Health District and Art Gallery of NSW that enabled a tailored and cost effective solution for resource-affected communities in rural NSW.

Find more information and a video about the program here:


Feature image: MPS Arts in Health Program, image supplied
Article by Murrumbidgee Local Health District, post by Rosa Clifford