The Health and Care Creativity Workshops Programme is funded as part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council's (AHRC) Nature of Creativity research stream, which is co-funded by the ESRC, DTI and the Arts Council of England.
The project has been developed in the context of government directives and modernisation plans that require more creative working practices within the health and care sector. People are being encouraged to engage in creative processes as policy makers, service providers and end users, all of which has implications for practice. For example, the Department of Health's Choosing Health (2004) has "full engagement" as a central tenet and Tomorrow's Doctors (1993) outlines the importance of the medical humanities in the training of medical students. Such strategic shifts set the stage for a more informed application of creativity within the field of health and care and particularly with the health and care workforce who are tasked with turning government directives into reality. The 'Creativity in Health and Care Workshops' seek to build on existing knowledge in the field and to develop useful thinking that informs future workforce development practice and increased uptake of creative ways of working.
The workshops aim to engage with questions concerning:
• The value of creativity to society - how might creative processes be harnessed to improve provision in health and care? Is creativity of value in its own right? Is creativity always healthy? How can creativity be evaluated?
• The distinction between creativity and innovation - what constitutes the creative process? How might the creative process be employed to encourage innovation? Is it possible to be creative without being innovative and innovative without being creative? What are the institutional expectations of creativity?
• The role of risk in creativity - what conditions are necessary for creativity to thrive? What may prevent/encourage people to enter into a creative process? What is the risk personally and institutionally in a creative encounter? What are the consequences of creative endeavour?
• Individual/institutional creativity - what are the personal/institutional imperatives for creativity? How might creativity affect institutional culture? Is creativity sustainable?