Brighton Museum Free Day

“Music evokes emotion, and emotion can bring with it memory… it brings back the feeling of life when nothing else can.”

Neurologist Oliver Sacks

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust are at the forefront of research into dementia and the care and support of people living with dementia who access our services every year. There are an estimated 28,000 people living with dementia across Sussex, which is among the highest prevalence rates in the UK. Dementia can create emotional and practical challenges for patients, families, carers and healthcare professionals who support people living with dementia. In this study SCFT have discovered that music is a vital tool in helping people living with dementia communicate with their families and the hospital staff looking after them. By helping people with dementia communicate their needs and enhancing their wellbeing through music, we are discovering that changing how we care for people can have a significant impact.

In this groundbreaking Feasibility Study into the Effectiveness of Music-Based Interventions for People with Dementia in the Community Hospital Setting, SCFT are one of the first NHS Trusts to show how social prescribing can work in health care. The 6-month project in a local Sussex Community Hospital, studied patients and staff using interviews, video and Dementia Care Mapping to track changes in everyone’s wellbeing. The results were astounding and will be premiered in a series of talks by Dementia Lead Lucy Frost and Wishing Well Music in Heathcare, Programme Director Jo White at Brighton Museum on Saturday 4th May as part of Brighton Museum’s Free Day: The Musical Museum.

There will be a screening of a short film that captured the emotional results, followed by a Q&A session for everyone to find out more and ask questions of their own.

Study Team: Musicians: Summary of Study :

Saturday 4th May 2019
11am – 12pm and 2pm – 3pm
Museum Lab, Brighton Museum, Royal Pavilion Gardens, Brighton BN1 1EE.

Planned Investigation, Assessment and Evaluation of the Use of Music-Based Intervention in the Community Hospital Setting.

Lucy Frost, Laura Hughes, Dr. Catherine Evans, Prof Sube Banerjee, John Krohne

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust ( Well Music in Healthcare ( and Sussex Medical School (
Sarah West – Westcreative (

Lucy Frost, Laura Hughes, Jo White, John Krohne, Helen Vaughan, Sarah West Emma Welsh and Anna Dolphin, Wishing Well Music in Healthcare

For 6 months, 2 trained musicians attended the wards of an East Sussex Community Hospital on a weekly basis, playing and reminiscing with patients living with dementia. Patient data was collected by semi- structured interviews and observations were recorded using a research tool called Dementia Care Mapping developed by the University of Bradford. Their quality of life was measured with the DEMQOL-Proxy questionnaire. Staff data was collected via semi-structured interviews and video was used to capture the interviews and interventions for thematic analysis.

The results have shown a marked change in levels of wellbeing and engagement on the wards, with the patients reporting feeling more ‘themselves’ and staff learning more about their patients and therefore knowing how to care for them better.

Staff Interview “…because they’re not in their own home environment they’re kind of restrained to what they can normally do, their normal activities, their likes and dislikes, it is literally worse than a prison being in hospital because we’ve got limited equipment such as televisions…music helps everybody not just the patients with memory problems. It evokes memories, helps the ward harmony better, brings people together, music therapy is a brilliant thing. It brings the patients and staff and visitors all together. If they hear a song it encourages discussion and it helps us also know a little bit about the patient because to every point in somebody’s life they often have a song about it.”

Link to film:

Available for interviews: Lucy Frost, Dementia Lead

Jo White, Programme Director, Wishing Well Music in Healthcare

Jo White will also be talking about the work of Wishing Well in the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, Brighton, helping very small babies, young children and their families cope with being in hospital by providing music and the opportunity for patients to create music.

Contact information for press and media

For further information or interviews please contact Caroline Sutton on caroline.sutton@brighton- or + 44 (0)1273 296718. For urgent enquiries in my absence please or 03000 290