2016 and Beyond

Improving patient and staff environment with art and design commissioning for RUH new builds and refurbishment.




In October 2015, the RUH started work on the construction of our new pharmacy facility. This marked another milestone in the Trust’s Fit for the Future programme, as we work to transform our estate and further improve the services we provide.

Staff moved in to the new Pharmacy building in early 2017.


New location, improved facilities, future focused…
The project team worked closely with staff and pharmacy users during the design process, to make sure our new pharmacy best meets the needs of patients and staff. As part of this process Art at the Heart led consultation workshops with staff to gage their impressions for suggested colour schemes to include feature walls, flooring, impact panelling and furniture. This is a very sterile area but we want to try and soften the internal working areas with sensitive and imaginative additions of colour and also art.

Part of the AATH ran a series of workshops with staff as well as thoughts towards an arts
commission, which staff agreed should relate to the natural world and Pharmaceutical
Research. This led to a commission with artist Dr Michele Whiting, whose suite of four drawings represent aspects of current research at Bath University with plants including the daffodil, as points of departure. Dr Whiting was supported by Dr Sarah Bailey, Prof Stephen Husbands, and Dr Lorenzo Caggian, Researchers at the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology at Bath University.

The finished building is bright and airy; it has a contemporary feel with accents of colour for walls and floors. The large scale series of artworks will add a unique asset to the department.

Pharmacy Artworks

Laboratory Drawings: Works on Paper 150cm x 100cm by Dr Michele Whiting


PET/CT: RUH Radiography Department

A PET/CT scanner has been installed within a purpose built suite encased with lead lined walls within the Radiography Department. This facility will transform cancer diagnosis at the RUH as well as diagnosing dementia conditions including Alzheimer’s.

The environment needeKaty McIntyre Brown-1d to be carefully designed for that the patient as it can be a stressful experience for a patient to go through. We commissioned a series of bespoke vinyl wallpaper designs by Katy McIntyre Brown for each Patient Bay to coordinate with the feature wall colours and they were designed purposefully not to be too ‘busy’ in order to minimise brain activity and not over stimulate the patient.

They have to wait in a side bay on their own for an hour prior to the scan and it’s important to remain relaxed and very still in order for the procedure to work effectively. The individual colour and wallpaper design for each Bay also helps the patient to navigate to and from the scanner room unaided.


A six 6 panelled lit ceiling by Sky Inside UK was installed above the PET CT scanner adds another dimension to the room and helps to distract the patient whilst undergoing their scan. Including artwork into the design, such as these wallpapers and the sky ceiling has been shown to improve the patient experience by alleviating anxiety and stress and acting as a distraction. Staff and patients alike are amazed that the whole department, lined with lead brick, could exude such a gentle and comforting aura.


Teenage Chill Out Room

In 2016 The Children’s Ward raised funds for a Teenager’s Chill Out Room and Art at the Heart created mood boards and consulted with young patients and ward staff, resulting in a bespoke design including colour scheme for walls, flooring, artwork and furnishings to meet their wishes. Graffiti Prints generously donated a signed LE print by graffiti artist Martin Watson, adding a unique edgy and contemporary ambience to the room. IT and gaming equipment was also installed and is now being used by teenagers on the ward on a daily basis.

Teenage Chill Out Room



Every art and design project is different and this one is no exception, the RNHRD, also known as ‘The Min’ is relocating from the centre of Bath to the Combe Park site and the existing RUH Therapies Centre will share this new 3 storey building with the RNHRD. There are opportunities to incorporate elements of Bath’s medical history into the fabric of the design; from Bath’s healing waters and the Roman mosaic pavement can all be alluded to in flooring, wall and window graphics. There will be several garden/outdoor spaces that can accommodate sculpture and other art forms into the external design.

Art at the Heart is involved in several engagement events with staff and patients from the RNHRD and RUH Therapies and over the next few months we will process the results of the engagement process and develop ideas with lead architects IBI.

RNHRD and Therapies Centre


Innovative design is the key to creating a welcoming and exceptional environment for patient care. The Forever Friends Appeal aims to raise a total of £250,000 for art to create a truly pioneering Cancer Care Centre that complements the existing high quality care for patients at the Royal United Hospitals Bath (RUH).

Art at the Heart  will ensure that there is a clear art and design strategy for the new Cancer Care Centre. Art takes many forms, and in this instance can include integrally etched windows that could act as screens, a clever use of light and colour to brighten waiting areas, small gardens, as well as stunning pieces of artwork. In addition the hospital’s art charity hopes to include stand-out sculpture, using the landscape as an integral part of the project.












AATH have already built quite a strong collection of artworks for the new Cancer Care Centre; including ‘Brass Monkey’ by Bruce Munro, which is a vibrant light installation that will be incorporated into the building’s landscape design.

The overall aim is to create a truly holistic healing environment, connecting the outside to the inside, capturing light into the building through glazing and layout, and to maximise views enhancing the whole hospital environment. Understanding the benefits of adding greenery into a built environment to help improve health is not a new concept. Taking on board this knowledge, the proposal is that landscape takes centre stage, driving the design both externally and internally.

The Royal United Hospitals Bath has been here for the people of Bath for generations. It owes its existence to the generosity of the community it serves, and the contributions of that community remain as important as ever. If you would like to support the arts fund or are interested in finding out how you can get involved, The Cancer Care Centre Wish List is now available by request on 01225 824987 or email hetty.dupays@nhs.net