Jillian SkinnerMinister’s foreword

The experience worldwide is that exposure to the arts has a profoundly beneficial impact on a patient’s recovery in hospital and through its use in health messaging, improved health outcomes and health literacy for individuals and the wider community.

I have appointed a Taskforce on Health and the Arts to advise me on how to better integrate arts and health activities across the whole of NSW Health, drawing on the National Arts and Health Framework and the NSW Arts and Cultural Policy Framework (Create in NSW).

Through the creation of a Health and the Arts Framework for NSW Health, my vision it to ensure that the benefits that flow from the integration of health and the arts are shared system wide with our patients, clients, carers, staff and the wider community.

Developing a Framework for Health and the Arts

A Health and the Arts Taskforce has been appointed to advise the Minister on the development of a Framework to integrate health and the arts across the NSW public health system.

Appointed in October 2015, the Taskforce will submit its report and recommendations to the Minister for consideration in April 2016.

Taskforce on Health and the Arts

Chaired by Chris Puplick AM, the Taskforce includes representatives from the arts and health sector:

  • Tracey Callinan, Executive Officer of Arts OutWest
  • Kate Dundas, Deputy Secretary of Arts & Culture, Department of Justice
  • Amanda Larkin, Chief Executive of South Western Sydney Local Health District
  • Margret Meagher, Founding Director of The Australian Centre for Arts and Health Limited
  • Dr Emma O’Brien, Executive Director of The Institute for Creative Health
  • Susan Pearce, Deputy Secretary of System Purchasing and Performance, NSW Ministry of Health
  • Sam Sangster, Chief Executive of Health Infrastructure.

Find out more about the Taskforce Members.

Terms of Reference

The role of the Taskforce is to advise the Minister on the development of a framework to integrate health and the arts across NSW Health, with a particular focus on:

  • the range of mechanisms and models for incorporating the arts into the design of health facilities and the delivery of health services;
  • the range of governance mechanisms and models for funding arts initiatives across NSW Health; and
  • a clearing house mechanism to facilitate an exchange of information and ideas on the incorporation and funding of the arts across NSW Health.

In fulfilling its role, the Taskforce will draw upon the National Arts and Health Framework, to which NSW Health is a signatory, and the NSW Arts and Cultural Policy Framework (Create in NSW). The Taskforce will also consult widely in preparing its advice for the Minister.

See Terms of Reference for more information.

Public consultation

The Taskforce will conduct a wide-ranging consultation to encourage participation, dialogue and the views of health and arts professionals, key organisations, patients, clients, carers, artists and the broader community.

The public consultation will be framed by the Taskforce’s Terms of Reference and the principles outlined in the National Arts and Health Framework, which are supported by Create in NSW.

Key Principles from the National Arts and Health Framework

The National Arts and Health Framework recognises the important role played by the arts in promoting the health and well-being of individuals and communities through:

  • recognising the use of the arts to support communication and education on key health matters, including prevention and harm reduction, and to improve health literacy and health outcomes
  • valuing the potential of the arts to also build community and engagement which are core to building social capital and community cohesion
  • acknowledging and raising awareness of arts and health practice and its value in supporting effective health outcomes
  • endorsing a partnership approach – across the arts and the health sectors, spheres of government, the community, business, education and the non-government sector – to support and realise the benefits that flow from the integration of health and the arts
  • ensuring the integration of the arts into health buildings and their environs through funding mechanisms and the creation of opportunities for arts practice to occur within health facilities
  • supporting ongoing research, evaluation and documentation of arts and health practice to provide an evidence base to support its use in improving health and wellbeing.

Key Terms of Reference for the NSW Health and the Arts Taskforce

As part of its wide ranging consultation, the Taskforce will be seeking the views of stakeholders in relation to three key elements of its Terms of Reference:

  • the range of mechanisms and models for incorporating the arts into the design of health facilities and the delivery of health services;
  • the range of governance mechanisms and models for funding arts initiatives across NSW Health; and
  • a clearing house mechanism to facilitate an exchange of information and ideas on the incorporation and funding of the arts across NSW Health.

The principles set out in the National Arts and Health Framework and the Taskforce’s Terms of Reference will form the basis of discussion at each of the stakeholder engagement workshops to be held in 2015 and 2016.

Taskforce consultation

The Taskforce has met with a number of individuals and organisations from across the health and arts sectors and the broader community, and received over 60 written submissions.

Public consultation workshops were held across New South Wales, in Parramatta, Casula, Darlinghurst, Newcastle and Orange, drawing 300 participants. In addition, the Taskforce Chair has met with numerous individuals and organizations through targeted individual and small group consultations.

The consultation period has now closed and the Taskforce is preparing its report, which will be delivered to the Minister for Health by the end of April 2016. ​​

Page Updated: Wednesday 16 March 2016