North Bristol NHS Trust, which covers Live Music Now SW venues Southmead and Cossham Hospitals, has been raised from ‘Requires Improvement’ to ‘Good’ in a recent Care Quality Commission report. Staff at the trust praised the work of LMN musicians, who have been performing at the hospitals where LMN SW began working with Fresh Arts in 2018.
The LMN branch has since increased its work at the hospitals from 24 days in the first year to 72 visits between April 2019 and March 2020. All of the LMN SW sessions are funded by Southmead Hospital Charity, which also funds the post of music manager for the Fresh Arts programme at North Bristol NHS Trust.
“LMN musicians love visiting Southmead and Cossham hospitals and regularly report back both on the fantastic welcome and support they have from staff, and also on the moving and often joyful impact of music on the patients” said LMN SW Director Sophie Dunn.
Laura Tanner, Music Manager for North Bristol NHS Trust praised LMN saying: “We recently increased the frequency of LMN musicians’ visits to wards, because we absolutely recognise the enormous value of this provision to our patients.
“We now aim to provide weekly live music sessions, delivered by highly skilled and fully trained professional musicians, to patients throughout the hospital. Areas we currently visit include everything from the intensive care unit and acute medical unit, through to our elective orthopaedics and respiratory wards.
“Escorting LMN musicians on wards is always one of the highlights of my working week at NBT. Not only does this provide me with the opportunity to enjoy live music myself and to get to know the brilliant musicians, but also, I get to see first-hand our superb clinical teams delivering truly exceptional care to their patients.”
Speaking about his work at Southmead Hospital, LMN musician Josh Doughty (Kora), said of one of his visits: “As I left the room an older man who had seemed like he was hardly listening called me over and said that the soothing sounds of my instrument had sent him away to a place where he was in complete relaxation and for a moment he forgot where he was.”
Laura added: “I have had so many lovely experiences escorting LMN musicians, but one stand out session a few weeks ago included seeing a team of nurses, occupational therapists and healthcare assistants turn a corridor into a mini concert hall so the married couple in their care could enjoy a performance together.
“One of the couple told me: ‘I used to be a member of the Bristol Male Voice Choir, for years I was their Chairman’, and the other said ‘My husband and I used to love going to concerts, but they are all in the evening, so it is difficult for us to get to anything.’
“Watching them sing along to Edelweiss and seeing the staff sharing in their joy, including several with tears in their eyes, was a special moment I will never forget. We are so incredibly privileged here at NBT to be working with Live Music Now in this way, and none of this would be possible without the amazing support we receive from Southmead Hospital Charity.”
Photograph taken 22 August 2018 by Evan Dawson – Live Music Now musicians Beatrice Newman (cello) and Rachael Elliot (violin) at Southmead Hospital, Bristol (‘Fresh Arts’ programme)