Update on the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing for the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance – January 2019

A cartoon by David Shrigley with a person drinking culture
David Shrigley

Alex Coulter, Director of Arts & Health South West, continues to provide the secretariat and project management for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing (APPG), on behalf of the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance.

Since the publication of the Creative Health report in July 2017, the APPG has pursued strategies to encourage the implementation of the ten recommendations, including six dissemination events around the country, in partnership with the regional leads for the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance. A further two events are being planned for April and May in the east and south east regions.

The APPG has held a further series of round tables in parliament to discuss the recommendations. You can find out more about the APPG’s activity during 2017/18 in the annual report: http://bit.ly/APPGAHWannualreport

The annual report includes information on the working group who continue to support the APPG in its ongoing work on Recommendation 1, for a national strategic centre. The King’s Fund conducted a feasibility study and consulted with a large number of stakeholders around the country.

Recommendation 2

The APPG was very pleased that the Secretary of State for Health quoted the Creative Health report’s key messages in his speech at the King’s Fund Social Prescribing conference in November: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/the-power-of-the-arts-and-social-…. Jeremy Wright spoke about health and wellbeing in his recent speech in Coventry: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/jeremy-wrights-value-of-culture-s… and said: “My department is working closely with the Department of Health and Social Care, and NHS England, to support greater use of social prescribing, in particular to address loneliness and help people with their mental health.”

Recommendations 3 & 4

A number of NHS trusts, Local Authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups have identified arts and health champions. The APPG is hosting a meeting with them to discuss network support. The APPG contributed to an event organised by NHS Providers and promoted the idea of champions with the trusts represented there.

Recent round tables

The APPG held a round table on Everyday Creativity with Dr Daisy Fancourt and BBC Get Creative, Voluntary Arts and 64 Million Artists. We also heard from NHS Digital and received a submission from Public Health England about the process for public health campaigns.

In the Health Secretary’s speech he spoke about the potential to grow the role of libraries in social prescribing, as well as the importance of the arts and mental health and of music to support people with dementia. The APPG’s spring programme responds to these priority areas and there was a round table on Libraries and Health on the 21st January, with contributions from CILIP, Libraries Connected, ACE lead for Libraries, Public Health England and the Care Quality Commission amongst others. Future round tables are planned on young people’s mental health and the arts, and on music and dementia.