Case Study: Art and Therapeutic Design to Enhance Patient Experience

Case Study: Art and Therapeutic Design to Enhance Patient Experience

Thanks to you, our amazing supporters, we were able to fund £2million worth of art and design enhancements to the new Department of Clinical Neurosciences and Royal Hospital for Children and Young People at Little France.

These enhancements have improved the hospital environment for patients, staff and visitors by softening the clinical environment, making it easier to find your way around and providing distractions with everything from digital animation and films to interior design and artworks. This all helps to make a hospital visit a much less daunting experience.

Susan Grant, our Tonic Arts Manager who led on the project for the Foundation, tells us a bit more.

“It was a real privilege to be involved in the art and therapeutic design programme for the new build, not just by providing funding through the Foundation but also by being involved throughout the entire commissioning process. Surroundings can have a huge impact on stress and anxiety, so including a pioneering programme of therapeutic art and design as part of the new build was hugely important.

“Thanks to our supporters, we were able to fund the enhancement of a range of interior and exterior spaces across the new Department of Clinical Neurosciences and Royal Hospital for Children and Young People*, helping to improve arrival and wayfinding, enliven the hospital environment, and tailor the design of spaces to reduce anxiety and depression.

“Working with Gingko Projects, we looked at a range of creative solutions which would inject warmth and character into stark clinical spaces and bring the space alive. Over 20 projects, involving 30 different artists and designers, were commissioned. From the very start, the artists and designers worked closely with staff, patients and their families, encouraging participation and dialogue at every step. This has provided a distinct identity for the hospital, with the staff and patients who were involved feeling a real sense of pride in, and ownership of, the end result.

“These stunning art and design commissions really bring to life the humanity of the hospital and the community of people who use it every day.”

Michael Pearson, General Manager for Clinical Neurosciences, said:

“The 180m 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.”

Lindsay Gripton, Highly Specialised Clinical Physiologist (Neuro), said:

“Absolutely love the artwork in this wonderful new building. It’s made arriving at work in the morning a pleasure and given us such a boost as a team. We all have our particular favourites in terms of individual pieces of artwork. Huge congratulations to everyone involved.”


This major, pioneering art and therapeutic design programme is the highest value capital development project that we have ever funded at the Foundation and is part of our longer-term commitment to the Arts and Therapeutic Design.

You can help us continue this vital work by making a donation to our charity to support NHS Lothian staff, patients and families.


*Enhancements to the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People were co-funded with Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity.

180m sculpted Spine Wall by designer Peter Marigold
Atrium Graphics by designer Peter Marigold
‘Old to New’ portholes by artist Kate Ive