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Art in the surgery brings benefits all round

Placing artwork in surgeries can reduce stress, improve interaction between doctors and patients and even help recruit and retain staff.

These are the results of a major survey examining GPs' perceptions of the use of art in general practice, conducted during Pulse's Portrait of a GP project.

Of 434 responses, nine out of 10 GPs strongly agreed that the 'quality' of a practice environment could reduce stress levels and also improve the nature of interaction with patients.

Nearly 91 per cent said the nature of the work environment could improve interaction with patients. More than three-quarters of respondents said it could improve the recruitment and retention of staff. Light was deemed to be the most important element of a quality environment, followed by plants, photography and art.

The findings, analysed by

Dr Jacques Mizan, director of space works in the department of general practice and primary care at King's College London, said GPs were acutely aware of the impact of the environment on their practice dynamic.

Dr Gillian Rice, a GP in Bedminster, Bristol, commissioned nearly £50,000-worth of art for her practice (above) through the help of funding and contributions from partners. She said: 'It has helped create an unusual and uplifting environment.'

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