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All’s Well with soundWELL at Lincoln County Hospital

The paediatric wards and playrooms at Lincoln County Hospital have been alive with the sound of music for the last few months.

soundLINCS and United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) have collaborated on soundWELL, a hands-on music workshop encouraging young patients to participate in a fun, relaxing and therapeutic music experience.

The first 12 week phase of the project saw soundLINCS Music Facilitators working both bedside and in the playroom with patients, exploring a wide range of instruments from mandolins and ukuleles to DJ’ing and techno apps.DSCF7873

The project also involved in an incredible inspiration week, which saw the playroom on Rainforest ward transformed into a sensory installation of video, sound and light. This created a relaxing environment, providing patients with a welcome distraction from the ward.

Part of this installation was a brilliant video sharing the music-making of the patients and healthcare professionals. The four minute piece also highlights some of the projects key outcomes, as well as featuring a music track containing samples from several of the patients involved in the session. It has proven a huge online success since the end of the installation as well, with several hundred views. It can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2eySIcT52M or on www.soundlincs.org/project/soundwell.

soundWELL is part of soundLINCS’ Youth Music Fund C programme, a three year long project delivering music workshops and training with children in challenging circumstances across five diverse strands; looked after children, youth justice services, paediatric services, young parents and children with special educational needs, including those who are hearing impaired.

Terry Vine, Matron for Acute Paediatrics at ULHT said: “We have been delighted to work with soundLINCS on this project. It has been a great success and the feedback from patients, families and staff has exceeded our expectations.

“Children have said that they have been so distracted by the music that they have not realised that the procedure such as a blood test or insertion of a cannula has taken place.

“Staff have said that the input has enabled them to carry out the procedure more effectively because the child has been calm. It has worked especially well with children who have learning disabilities or have challenging behaviour as the music seems to relax them very effectively.

“The video is a fantastic snapshot of the impact of the project, and we are very proud of what has been achieved so far. We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with soundLINCS and are looking at supporting a research study into the effectiveness of music in distraction and even developing our own CD. This is truly an innovative piece of work and we are very lucky to be able to offer it to our young patients.”IMAG0133_2

Nikki-Kate Heyes MBE, soundLINCS’ CEO added: “It’s been a real pleasure to work with such a welcoming and enthusiastic group of people from ULHT. It’s been so exciting to be part of a project where the patients and the healthcare professionals are the ones creating the art. There are so many examples of people in hospitals being entertained by the arts and culture but it was fantastic to see the incredible and inclusive power that participating in music can have. Everyone has been blown away by the impact the project has had and we can’t wait to keep the project going to make sure that this is not just a one-off and we can continue to strive for more until music in paediatric wards becomes the norm!”

The next phase of the project is already underway, with a new focus based around musical theatre, storytelling and puppetry which is also building towards another unique and inspirational final week which will see the wards and playrooms transformed again. Keep an eye out for more news!

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