We refer to the comprehensive Inquiry Report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing (APPGAHW) produced late 2017: Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing:

“Major challenges facing health and social care, aside from funding, are ageing, long-term conditions, loneliness and mental health.”

“With ferocious pressure on funding, little capacity within the NHS and social care has been available to support more than the maintenance of existing services. The NHS has, in any case, been intently focused on acute medicine and too little on prevention or the management of chronic conditions.”

“The transformation of the health and care system from a hospital-centred and illness-based system to a person-centred and health-based system needs to be accelerated and funded.”

“The UK needs to develop and implement a plan for building a health-creating society supported by all sectors of the economy and the wider population.”

The evidence in the APPGAHW Inquiry report clearly demonstrates how arts-based approaches can help people to stay well, recover faster, manage long-term conditions and experience a better quality of life, as well as save money and help staff in their work.

“The conundrum that we have found ourselves pondering is why, if there is so much evidence of the efficacy of the arts in health and social care, it is so little appreciated and acted upon… We have identified a number of barriers… These barriers are attitudinal rather than legislative or inherent in formal policy.”

“Received wisdom has yet to recognise consistently that the arts can help humanise the (medical) system, not just as a nice add-on but in complementing and enhancing the effectiveness of conventional medicine.”

The arts “offer a potential resource that should be embraced in health and social care systems which are under great pressure and in need of fresh thinking and cost-effective methods.”

“We offer a challenge to habitual thinking and ask for new collaborations to be formed across conventional boundaries. We are calling for an informed and open-minded willingness to accept that the arts can make a significant contribution to addressing a number of the pressing issues faced by our health and social care systems.”

“We hope to inspire and energise individuals and encourage better communication between different disciplines and institutions. Among the virtues of the arts is that they challenge habitual thinking. We aim to provoke dissonant conversations and create pressure for change. We challenge people to emerge from their silos, discover shared territory and join forces.”


The ‘6 Characters in Search of an Opera’ show has had a profoundly positive impact on those whose lives and minds are often difficult to reach, as well as on those who care for them. Watch our documentary.