Dialysis patients at Oxford's Churchill Hospital enjoy live orchestral music

  • ITV News Meridian's Charlotte Briere-Edney went along to one of the sessions

Patients at a community hospital in Oxford have been enjoying live orchestral music to help with their rehabilitation.

The Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra have been playing to patients on dialysis machines at Churchill Hospital.

The sessions are organised by Oxford Hospitals Charity, to boost the mood of patients and improve recovery.

The music sessions are all about interaction, with patients trying out instruments and having a go at conducting the musicians.

The Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra play to patients in the dialysis ward. Credit: ITV News Meridian

Patients have described the sessions as "spiritual" and "uplifting".

Tony Robb, Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra, said: "Patients, they don't have any choice about being here, they have very little control about what happens to them, so we try and give them just in the tiniest way, an element of control.

"If they're conducting us or they're leading a piece of music on a percussion instrument, or even just telling us what they want to hear."

Research shows engaging in the arts can provide real benefits to patients, including reducing the perception of pain and giving a sense of purpose and normality.

Patients can have a go at conducting the orchestra. Credit: ITV News Meridian

In 2022, the Annual Report from Oxford Health Arts Partnership (OHAP) found that taking part in an arts project and being creative results in patients having a 48% increase in mood compared to how they felt beforehand.

Over the past year the OHAP has delivered more than 370 arts sessions reaching out to more than 3,200 people.

Giada Donnini, Unit Manager, Oxford University Hospitals, said: "We know that music has got a lot of health benefits in general, and for these patients its just an experience to do something different just pass some time, enjoy, create that sense of community that you've seen with the musicians where they get involved into the activity as well. So obviously their mood improves the treatment as well."

Ruth Charity, Arts Lead, Oxford University Hospitals, said: "In terms of the studies we've done and the research we've done, we found that music, the impact of music isn't just when musicians are playing, but for two or three years afterwards, the whole feel of a ward can change."