The Arts Council has long been aware of the innovative nature of arts and health practice and the value of the work produced in healthcare contexts. In 2004, it organised an international arts and health conference and it has subsequently worked to support the sector in a range of different ways. In 2008, it appointed an Arts and Health Adviser, who is supporting the Council in the development of policy and strategy in the area. In parallel, the Arts Council has initiated a partnership with Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts, to deliver an exciting complementary programme of events, which has become known as Vital Signs. (forum)
The Vital Signs programme aims to raise the profile of arts and health as an dynamic area of contemporary arts practice, to showcase the innovative work of artists working in healthcare settings and to inform and provoke greater critical reflection and response within the arts and health sectors.