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Bristol GP surgery commissions art to relax patients

Dr Gillian Rice's practice has commissioned £38,000-worth of art for its new premises to help reduce patients' anxiety levels.

Works include a 10-foot-long fish tank into which patients' poetry is projected; a mural that depicts their old premises' 100-year history as a GP surgery; and a lighting sculpture that changes colour with the temperature.

Dr Rice, a GP in Bristol, secured arts funding for half of the total ­ the rest was borne by the partners.

'We didn't want the new building to look like a clinical health centre but as beautiful and relaxing a place as possible,' she said.

'Anxiousness can inhibit the information patients give to doctors and can mean they don't remember what the doctor says to them as well.'

Dr Rice has started a research study into the effect of the new environment on patients' stress levels.

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