Thursday, October 27, 2005

Art and unicycling in hospitals

A Guardian leader defends the idea of putting art into hospitals against an attack from the Sun - and Keeley, 19, from Kent in particular.

Quite right too. Florence Nightingale herself wrote in 1859 that "variety of form and brilliancy of colour in the objects presented to patients are an actual means of recovery". See an article of mine from OpenMind for up to date research on the subject.

However, it is harder to defend practices at South Tyneside hospital in South Shields. There, reports the Guardian, a mother had to wait for her six-month-old baby to be treated while the doctor road a unicycle up and down corridors.

Admirers of The League of Gentlemen will be reminded of Dr Carlton, who makes his patients play games like Grandmother's Footsteps and Bizzy Bizzy Bumbles in an attempt to win treatment.

I apologise for my recent League of Gentlemen fixation, but if you had grown up in Market Harborough in the 1970s you would realise that it was not comedy or horror but documentary.

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