9th Jan 2024
Representation in the Primary Arts Curriculum
As part of our work exploring partnership to support vulnerable children in the period after covid lock downs, Arun Inspires has commissioned two projects working in partnership with Sussex CCG exploring the ways creativity can support new pathways for children navigating the statutory process of the care system:
In 2021 Arun Inspires joined forces with Sussex CCG to commission an innovative digital resource which harnesses creativity to support the needs of some of the county’s most underprivileged children, those navigating the care system.
Responding to needs identified by consultation with the local Children in Care Council, the CCG wanted to work with creative partners to deliver a resource for looked after children and their carers that used creativity as a way to demystify the regular Health Assessment process which all looked after children must undertake and make it more accessible, better understood and less intimidating.
Artswork commissioned independent design and communications consultancy Europa Studios to develop the project, working in partnership with the young people from the Children in Care Council, designated nurses in the CCG and specialist nurses from Sussex Community Foundation Trust.
The resulting interactive website, My Health Appointment, guides young people through the story of their health assessment, explaining the purpose of this statutory process helping them understand what their regular health assessments are for and why they have them, and what to expect. It is designed to be a resource that children enjoy using, that helps them feel prepared for their Assessment and feel more confident in accessing health care in future. It is designed for children between the ages of 4 and 11 to be accessed at home with the support of their carer.
My Health Appointment is a dynamic age-appropriate resource that uses creativity to combat a vital health inequality for looked after children by preparing them to get the most support from the health team supporting them in a playful and child / young person-oriented way. My Health Appointment was launched in Arun and then made available to all Sussex looked-after children and promoted across national networks through the CCG.
Heather Lomas, Assistant Head of Children and Young People in Care for Sussex NHS commissioners said ‘We are delighted with the final product and confident that children and carers will be better prepared to benefit from this appointment. It is a great example of what can be achieved when we work together and listen to children about their healthcare. Initial feedback has been extremely positive.’
This project was shortlisted in 2022 for national Nursing Times Award for Children’s Care.
Building from My Health Appointment and following feedback from the children in care nursing team, in 2022 Artswork developed a commission for an artist to work with the Nurse Designate Team, the CCG and West Sussex Children in Care Council to research the possibilities for a playable resource for nurses to use with children in the Regular Health Assessment appointment. These statutory appointments address a wide range of personal health and wellbeing themes, and nurses and the CICC had identified it as a system that could be managed differently to better empower and engage children in the process.
Independent play expert and Artistic Associate of interactive theatre and games makers Coney, Brent Grihalva, was appointed to lead this work. Brent has conducted research by meeting children and nurses at a range of events over a 6 month period.
His prototype resource is being play tested by the nursing team and and evaluation of the project and future plans for its development will appear here shortly.
9th Jan 2024