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Addenbrooke's arts

Addenbrooke’s Arts enhances the hospital environment and aims to improve the experience of patients, visitors and staff through an innovative, stimulating and engaging arts programme.

The programme is not funded by the NHS.  All activity is paid for by Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (ACT) and other fundraising and earned income.

Who we are

Addenbrooke’s Arts is managed by:

Damian Hebron Head of Arts
Lesley Bermingham Arts Project Manager


We welcome feedback, suggestions, comments and donations.


What we do

Our principal areas of work are:

  • improving the hospital environment using visual arts
  • integrating art into new buildings on the hospital site,
  • providing opportunities for patients and staff to participate in the arts
  • developing and managing a programme of arts events for patients, staff, visitors and the wider community

We run a number of gallery spaces in the hospital with work for sale and commission integrated artwork in newly built and refurbished parts of the hospital, as well as in external garden spaces. Alongside new work, we manage the hospital’s collection of over 5,000 artworks. 

It's not all about visual arts. We run a number of musical performances each year and collaborate with colleagues in Cambridge, regionally and nationally to help raise standards in arts and health activity.

In recent years, we have run a range of projects with patients and staff. These have provided opportunities to participate in the arts and introducing creative activity as a tool for staff development and patient recovery. We stage a number of annual exhibitions of art work produced by staff. We have established staff poetry, photography and painting groups as well as a number of book clubs.

We are proud of the impact our work has had on the hospital environment. The arts programme has been credited with dramatically improving the experience of patients, staff and visitors to the hospital and influencing patient outcomes. 

Art in hospitals

In recent years, a growing body of evidence has been compiled proving the value of the arts in healthcare settings. In 2007, The Department of Health 

issued its first ever review of arts in health which recognised that the arts “are, and should be firmly recognised as being, integral to health, healthcare provision and healthcare environments, including supporting staff”. Recent research at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital found:

  • 75% of patients found the presence of art in the hospital reduced stress levels

  • patients exposed to visual arts and live music during the preoperative process shoed significantly lower levels of anxiety and depression than patients who were prepared for surgery in the absence of the arts.
  • patients exposed to visual art and live music during the post-operative period required less analgesia per day than patients recovering in the absence of visual art and live music. These patients also stayed 1 day less in hospital



Paul Janssens "Canon Street Bridge and the City, London"

Art exhibition: 20 October to 08 December

The paintings in this exhibition include a contrast of boats, bridges and buildings from coastline to City.

Ruth McCabe "How green is my valley"

Art exhibition: 23 June - 18 August

Two Suffolk artists, Alfie Carpenter and Ruth McCabe are exhibiting in the gallery between the Concourse & Rosie Wards.

Professor Sir Roy Calne, pioneering surgeon and former professor of surgery, by his portrait

Art exhibition: Faces of Addenbrooke’s

This exhibition is designed to kick-start a year of celebrations to mark the 250th anniversary of Addenbrooke’s Hospital and can be found in the main gallery along the corridor between the Concourse and Rosie Wards

Art exhibition: 14 May - 25 June

Our latest art exhibition is brought to us by the Saffron Walden Gallery. It includes an eclectic range of artists inspired by local and exotic themes.