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Emerge

NHS Creative Wellbeing Project

In 2018 ONCA was selected to deliver ‘Emerge’, a creative wellbeing project for staff at BSUH NHS Trust.

**Scroll to the bottom of this page to see the Celebrating NHS Staff exhibition**

About Emerge

Emerge was commissioned as part of Connect, The Public Art Programme for the 3Ts Redevelopment of the Royal Sussex County Hospital for Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust (BSUH). 

The commission was for a Sussex-based arts organisation to deliver a programme of creativity focused on improving staff morale and wellbeing, engaging all BSUH staff with an interest in taking part from across the Trust.

As part of the the 3Ts Public Art programme, ‘Connect’, the brief required that the programme link to this theme, fostering connections to encourage a sense of belonging and community, with an invitation to interpret this in 4 ways: Connect the Hospital – Connect the Community – Connect with Nature – Connect with Place. 

The project was commissioned to: 

  • Improve morale of BSUH staff engaged in the programme
  • Support BSUH staff as they go through a process of transition from the old hospital to the new 
  • Create something for the new building to benefit staff 

The project was required to align with the New Economics Foundation’s Five Ways to Wellbeing:

  • Take Notice
  • Connect
  • Learn
  • Be Active
  • Give

Emerge Jolly Trolley

NHS staff at RSCH enjoying the Emerge Jolly Trolley


During the delivery of the project there were some significant shifts in context, which impacted project delivery. 

  • The completion of the new hospital was delayed, with the funding and delivery timeline for Emerge coming to an end before the new hospital has been completed. 
  • Furthermore, in March 2020 the UK went into a national lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The project was paused from March to July 2020 in light of unprecedented pressure on NHS services, resuming in a very different environment with additional challenges facing staff. The final phase of project delivery was adjusted to meet the ever-changing safety regulations in place at the hospitals and across Sussex.

Celebrating NHS Staff 

These artworks were shared by artists who wanted to show gratitude for Sussex’s incredible NHS staff. In 2020, more than ever, we wanted to acknowledge them with a show of creative gratitude and joy! All the artworks here were submitted in response to a Community Open Call, as part of the Emerge project. Find out more about the project here

Keep up to date with the project via the Hospital website here

See the CONNECT Instagram here