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Health / Art / Libraries

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"A lack of imagination is the worst kind of poverty"

from "Not to be Ignored" by Paul Harker , Consultant in Public Health

The Health/Art/Libraries (HAL) project was founded in 2014 by Somerset based GP Dr Malcolm Rigler and Liverpool Artists John Campbell and Moira Kenny also known as THE SOUND AGENTS. https://soundagents.blogspot.com/

The aim of this project is to bring people together to start conversation about libraries and health and for future collaborations to come out of H.A.L to deliver a series of Arts Projects, Events, Publications, Workshops and Training Sessions to offer help to  patients and carers in their search for information and understanding about health, social care and life changes working along the theme of "Libraries on Prescription"                                                                                                                           

“Information fully understood, is a key part of care. 

Patients need such help to give clear consent to treatment and investigation. 

This project enables patients and families to grasp the essence of the issues and play a full part in the decision making process". 

Image: University of Glasgow

Professor Sir Kenneth Calman KCB FRCP FRSE
Professor Nigel Sparrow OBE Senior National
 GP Advisor and Responsible Officer CQC

"I am pleased to support the ‘Libraries and Health’ initiative. Health literacy is an important determinant of health. GPs have an essential role in supporting patients to develop health literacy skills in understanding and using health information.

 The ‘Libraries and Health’ initiative will be a helpful  resource for people in making the best use of resources, through increased understanding, confidence and skills to enable decision-making that is shared between doctors and patients"

Image: Linkedin

“Health and social care are topics on which an endless wealth of literature has been written. The Libraries and Health partnership and the Patients Association share a common theme in striving to help patients, services users and their families make sense of the vast swathes of information on offer.


Libraries should act as community hubs of learning, as well as offering practical support in helping people understand the choices available to them regarding their health and wellbeing.”

mage: Twitter

Rachel Power, Chief Executive of the Patients Association
Professor Dame Sarah Cowley 

“Now the commissioning of health visitors has returned to their former home within Local Government they are more fully aligned to the Education Service, so they will be well placed to encourage the "Libraries and Health" developments that are gradually emerging as a vital aspect of our Community Library Service.

 Health visitors have long valued the opportunities afforded by libraries for improving early speech and language development. They will have new opportunities to call on the support of Librarians and their staff to assist with Health Literacy and Community Development aspects of health visiting Practice”

Image: UNSW Sydney

This strategic Libraries and Health partnership is a critical resource for 21st Century communities and our re-imagining of health and well-being in the heart of the places we live and work.

 As hubs of learning – places of imagination – and as social condensers – we must support this initiative before libraries are relegated to history”

Image MMU

Dr Clive Parkinson MMU
Beatrice Fraenkel MerseyCare NHS Foundation Trust

“From a mental health perspective we have become increasingly aware of the very real fears our service users have around the uncertain future of libraries today. Many of our service users experience extreme and debilitating levels of social isolation and exclusion. 

In this context libraries become places of warmth, welcome, safety, access to information and support, and crucially gateways to much needed human interaction. 

 For this reason Mersey Care has recently acquired a Carnegie Library in Liverpool that was destined for closure. In 2016 we will reopen this building as a centre for recovery and social inclusion, promoting positive mental health and wellbeing for our service users and the wider community. A functioning library will remain at the heart of this innovation”

Image: NHS Merseycare Foundation Trust

Dr Malcolm Rigler

"I see the most creative future for everyone involved in "arts and health" lies in the emerging "libraries and health" partnership developments that are now taking shape.

 In fact I am now completely convinced that the GP within the NHS has no enjoyable or creative future until the arts led "libraries and health" partnership work is understood, valued and firmly supported in every possible way by both GPs and Librarians  across the whole of the UK. 

Creative people are in a very strong  position to lead this much needed transformation of both GP practice and the Community Library Service' 

Image: M. Rigler

Web Design Audio/Visual/Photographic material unless otherwise stated © THE SOUND AGENTS All rights reserved 2016 

Contact: Thesoundagents@gmx.co.uk, HealthandLibraries@gmx.com  Website: www.soundagents.blogspot.com

This project is created jointly by THE SOUND AGENTS & PARTNERS IN HEALTH (Midland) Ltd

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