Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation welcomes staff to Little France

Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation welcomes staff to Little France
May 21, 2020

Staff from NHS Lothian’s Department of Clinical Neurosciences, and the first 30 patients attending clinics, were welcomed to their new home at Little France last week with a commemorative mug featuring artwork that had been commissioned as part of the new build.

Official charity partner, Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation, had provided the gifts in celebration of the pioneering Art and Therapeutic Design Programme that they had co-funded as part of the building design.

The programme looked at innovative and creative ways to enhance interior and exterior spaces and improve patient and staff experience. Over 20 projects, involving 30 different artists, were commissioned to enhance arrival and wayfinding, enliven the hospital environment, and tailor the design of spaces to reduce anxiety through digital animations and films.

Susan Grant, Tonic Arts Manager for Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation said: “Due to lockdown restrictions, we were unable to welcome the first phase of new staff to the building so we wanted to make sure that we marked the occasion in some way. We have asked staff to let us know how they are settling in by sending ‘mugshots’ of them discovering and exploring the hospital art and finding its many delights and distractions.”

She added: “We are privileged to have been involved in this project, not just by providing funding through the Foundation but throughout the entire process. It really demonstrates the importance that NHS Lothian has placed on arts in healthcare, recognising the impact of the surroundings on wellbeing. The stunning art and design commissions really bring to life the humanity of the hospital and the people who are in it.”

Michael Pearson, General Manager for Clinical Neurosciences, said: “I really want to thank everyone for their positive engagement in the whole process. Art and Therapeutic Design was recognised as an essential part of the new build project. From the very start, the artists and designers worked closely with staff, patients, and their families, encouraging participation and dialogue at every step, to help shape the end result. And the end result is fantastic. The 188m spine wall that stretches throughout the hospital really catches your eye as you walk in, then as you move through you find further unique spaces that give the building a personal, warm feel.  It is so nice to now see that building coming to life.”