Hospital patients and staff treated to string quartet show

A socially distanced visit to the hospital was arranged by Tayside Healthcare Arts Trust (THAT).

By Lewis McKenzie & Saul Sievwright

Patients and staff at Royal Victoria Hospital in Dundee have been treated to a pop-up performance by a Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) string quartet.

A socially distanced visit to the hospital was arranged by Tayside Healthcare Arts Trust (THAT).

The trust works in partnership with RSNO in Dundee to create innovative participatory music programmes for people living with long-term conditions including stroke and acquired brain injury.

The first of two performances was held on the veranda of ward four, stroke unit, whilst an afternoon performance took place in the gardens of Roxburghe House, a specialist palliative care unit.

Lesley Lochrie, senior charge nurse for the stoke unit, praised the performance as a positive experience.

“This last year has been difficult for everyone in the unit, with social distancing to protect patients and all the necessary changes to our usual ways of working,” she said.

“Having the musicians here playing for us is such a positive experience for everyone and we were delighted that they were able to visit.”

Senior charge nurse Marnie Ferguson added: “It was wonderful to hear such beautiful music being played live in the garden here at Roxburghe House.

“Our staff and patients were able to gather outside to listen and those who couldn’t manage were able to open their doors and windows and still enjoy it all.

“Music is so important to people and the chance to hear musicians of this standard was greatly appreciated.”

Bekah Cork, from the RSNO, acknowledged how difficult the last year has been for the NHS.

“The RSNO is thrilled to return to Dundee and to continue building upon our relationship with the Tayside Healthcare Arts Trust,” she said.

“The opportunity to bring our national programme of pop-up performances directly to important healthcare settings has been wonderful. 

“We all know how difficult the last year has been for the NHS and we hope that our performances go some way in showing our appreciation of that.”

Chris Kelly, from THAT, said the response to the performances has been terrific.

“This is a new development in our partnership with RSNO and hopefully the start of further performance opportunities,” said Chris.

“The staff at both units were so enthused by the idea of bringing the musicians in, especially after the last 18 months.

“The response has been terrific.”

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