How the arts are mitigating NHS cuts

Steven Carne raises some questions – Is social prescribing a great step forward in healthcare or a cynical move to use cheap or voluntary services to plug increasing gaps in a massively underfunded health service?

Written by Steven Carne, this article was originally published by in Arts Professional on  30/09/20.

“Where are the safeguards?”
“The What?”
“Safeguards. Have you got a clinical support person? What happens if someone on your creative arts therapy course has a violent episode, breaks down in the room and stabs someone with a large paintbrush?”
“Umm…”

This is a frequent conversation I have with creative practitioners about their ‘health and wellbeing’ work, especially as recent NHS England policy has spawned a magical lumping together of mental health and other clinical services into ‘Culture Arts Heritage and Wellbeing’ – and the wonders of social prescribing.

Having run arts projects in schools, youth clubs and worked in community development since the 80s I totally agree that the creative and social arts are good for everyone’s wellbeing and society in general.

But if creative arts courses, gardening and walking groups become volunteer community-based replacements for solid, experienced clinical care, is that a good thing?

Asking the big questions over social prescribing,  Steven’s hard-hitting article focuses on;

  • Cuts to caring
  • The role for charities
  • If social prescribing is an add-on or replacement

Read the whole article via Arts Professional 

Arts Professional Article

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