Ella Doran, Bedside Views  2011

Ella Doran, Bedside Views  2011
In-patient wards at The Royal London Hospital

Vital Arts is the arts organisation for Barts Health NHS Trust, charitably funded to deliver arts projects for the well-being of patients, staff and the wider hospital community. Collaboration and participation are at the heart of our work. Over one million people attend the five hospitals within our trust each year, looked after by 15,000 members of staff. We see these important civic spaces as ideal places to introduce a new audience to the transformative power of art.

Vital Arts was founded in 1996 and has grown into one of the UK’s leading arts and health organisations, with an international reputation for producing pioneering arts programmes that transform the experience of being in hospital for patients and staff.

We commission artists, musicians and performers to help improve the hospital environment for patients. We manage two art galleries which ‘bring the outside in,' and an extensive contemporary art collection. We forge links with the hospital community through our diverse programme of artists’ residencies, public art commissions and arts education projects.


"...the arts are and should be recognised as integral to health and health services."

A Prospectus for Arts and Health
Department of Health and Arts Council England, 2007


"Variety of form and brilliancy of colour in objects presented to patients are
an actual means of recovery."


Florence Nightingale, 1888


Download the Barts Health annual report for an overview of the past few years.

Annual Review 2009 - 2010