United Bristol Healthcare trust is delighted to support the new centre for arts and humanities at Durham University ('Arts surgery', news focus, pages 14-15). The trust is currently building a brand new children's hospital. The arts are totally integrated into both the design and the planned ongoing programme for the new hospital, because our extensive international research into what made the very best kind of children's provision proved that creativity, the arts and imaginative design were essential to a holistic healing environment.
Of course, the real problem is funding these necessary elements.
While we are grateful for a contribution from Lottery funds, support for an ambitious programme is hard to come by. We are making serious attempts to evaluate our developing project with academic researchers from environmental psychology and the arts, but resourcing this is proving problematic.
We wish the new centre at Durham the very best. But we hope its funds will be devolved in a way that encourages diverse independent research initiatives, not least active art and evaluation programmes of the kind which we are aspiring to achieve.
Graham R Nix Deputy chief executive and director of finance United Bristol Healthcare trust