Arts to Preserve Brain Health – Transforming Diagnostic Practice for Dementia

Arts 4 Dementia’s two-year campaign to advance social prescribing to arts and wellbeing activity for people at the onset of dementia has resulted in a new report. A.R.T.S. for Brain Health: Social Prescribing as Diagnostic Practice for Dementia the outcome of two national conferences and fifteen regional cross sector meetings and the testimony of over 400 speakers.

Full Report
Executive Summary

Some 200,000 people are diagnosed with a dementia each year (Alzheimer’s Research UK). Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 27). Yet referral to arts support for dementia requires a diagnosis. For people in the lonely, fear-filled months/years awaiting memory assessment and diagnosis, the right to arts participation has been hard to access – until now.

Leaders in creative ageing, culture health and wellbeing, brain health, dementia and its prevention, social prescribing, GPs and their link workers, memory services, and local authorities, reveal how that gap is beginning to be bridged.

Thanks to social prescribing link workers available to every GP, re-energising A.R.T.S. – Activities to Revitalise The Soul – can be offered at the onset of dementia. This provides an empowering opportunity to draw people’s attention at a vulnerable time, to opportunities to preserve their brain health, their sense of identity, purpose, joy and interests together with loved ones in the community. The impact of engaging each week, in re-energising, inspirational activity transforms the diagnostic experience. If people are relieved of isolating strain, fears of stigma, and are interacting in sociable creative endeavour when diagnosis comes, their sense of purpose of identity can continue, despite dementia. And if the diagnosis is not in the end dementia, active social engagement will nourish resilience and as the report shows, cognition may improve.

As one third of cases of dementia could be prevented, risk factors and how A.R.T.S.  protect against the advance of dementia are examined. The report looks at current diagnostic practice and how GPs and memory services offer or plan to offer social prescribing, with case studies from patients, GPs and memory services and link workers, and the development of social prescribing and arts for health practice, with regional case studies. The social prescribing process is examined and models for collaborative practice, for arts organisations to raise awareness to link workers and achieve sustainable A.R.T.S. prescription programmes.

September 2021


A.R.T.S. for Brain Health Webinars

Hosted by A4D President, Veronica Franklin Gould

Experts debate the vital role of arts and wellbeing activity in protecting against cognitive decline, with actions for social change.

“Social Prescribing as Diagnostic Practice” Tuesday 2 November 2021.

  • Professor Alistair Burns, NHS National Clinical Director for Dementia and Older People’s Mental Health
  • Professor John Gallacher, Professor of Cognitive Health at The University of Oxford; Director, Dementias Platform UK
  • Chair: Sir Muir Gray, Director, Optimal Ageing Programme at The University of Oxford.

Recording for November A.R.T.S. for Brain Health webinar Transcript.

Increase Brainability: Dance to Preserve Brain Health & Global Social Prescribing”, Tuesday 7 December 2021

  • Sir Muir Gray, Director, Optimal Ageing Programme at The University of Oxford
  • Fergus Early, Artistic Director, Green Candle Dance
  • Dr Bogdan Chiva Giurca, Founder, NHS Social Prescribing Champion Scheme. Developmental Lead, Global Social Prescribing Alliance
  • Chair: Dr Charles Alessi, Senior Advisor, Public Health England.

Recording for December A.R.T.S. for Brain Health webinar. Transcript.

A.R.T.S. for Brain Health Webinars 2022

Tuesday mornings, 10 – 11 am:

11 January (music. Chair: Katie Derham, BBC), 8 February (visual arts), 17 March (Global), 5 April (drama), 10 May (heritage and nature), 7 June (Scotland), July (Wales), September (N.Ireland)


Arts 4 Dementia Best Practice Conference 2021

Arts for Brain Health:

Social Prescribing as Peri-Diagnostic Practice for Dementia

Thursday and Friday 20-21 May , 9.30 am – 5 pm


Our President @VeronicaArts highlights the power of social prescribing for those experiencing symptoms of a dementia:

Imagine a world where people with dementia had support in the community right from the word go. Where a word from their GP could unlock the creative spark that would inspire them, help them to stay lucid and to communicate with their loved ones. A world where dance, beauty, music and more opened up to them and helped them to override the stigma of a dementia diagnosis.

I remember my own mother and how, deep in the throes of Alzheimer’s, she sprang to life when hearing a cellist play, reaching out to inquire about his life as international music student. The photographer whose dementia had made him lay down his camera years before, resuming photography with Arts 4 Dementia and the organist whose dementia had stolen his ability to play, began to improvise with us six years later sat, then played Bach on Radio 3. Famously, the wheelchair bound ballet dancer with advanced dementia recreated movements she had once danced from Swan Lake.

The arts can be truly transformational for people at the onset of dementia, inspirational distraction from fear of stigma and diagnosis.

Thanks to a determined decade of research and training from Arts 4 Dementia, advances in social prescribing through the NHS introduction of linkworkers available to every GP, that world is getting closer every day. But to achieve change, it means bringing together leading lights from across the fields of arts, culture, health and wellbeing, and exploring best practice and where advances can be made.

We’re delighted to be presenting our first best practice conference on social prescribing to arts for brain health this May. We’ll be sharing insights from eighty inspired speakers, Professor Brian Lawlor of the Global Brain Health Institute and professors of optimal and creative ageing, brain health, dementia and dementia prevention, Dr Michal Dixon, National Clinical Lead for Social Prescription, James Sanderson, chief executive of the National Academy for Social Prescribing, Gareth Presch, Chief Executive of the World Health Innovation Summit, Christopher Bailey, head of arts at the World Health Organisation, Alexandra Coulter, Director of the National Centre for Creative Health and leading colleagues in culture, health and wellbeing and Sir Tim Smit, co-founder of the Eden Project.

Jane Frere, D-IAGNOSIS! Arts to Preserve Wellbeing, 2019, pastel.

A4D Best Practice Conference Arts for Brain Health: Social Prescribing as Peri-Diagnostic Practice for Dementia, May 20-21, 2021.

GPs, social prescribers, arts and health organisations, educationalists and funders, innovative and creative ageing specialists, local authorities and policy makers to come together and revolutionise the world of social prescribing to culture and creativity for brain health.

Hear how from the onset of dementia, social prescribing can unlock access to the arts and dramatically improve wellbeing and brain health.

We look at the impact of engaging in weekly creative and wellbeing activity and examine the potential for normalising social prescribing as diagnostic practice around the UK.

Bringing together leading experts in the fields of brain health and dementia, innovative ageing, arts, culture, health and wellbeing, this online conference highlights cross-sector referral and funding partnership practice for sustainable social prescription programmes, presenting evidence for creative ageing and debating the way forward.

Presentation videos can be accessed here.


Veronica Franklin Gould, President, Arts 4 Dementia.
Baroness Greengross, A4D patron and Co-Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia.
Veronica Franklin Gould, ‘From Despair to Desire, Social Prescribing to Relieve Strain from the Onset of Dementia’.
Keith Oliver, Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador ‘Give me Identity and I will Shine’, with Jen Holland.
James Sanderson, Director, Personalised Care, NHSE & I; Chief Executive, National Academy for Social Prescribing.

CHAIR OF MORNING SESSIONS & PLENARY DEBATE: Professor Alistair Burns, National Clinical Director for Dementia & Older People’s Mental Health, NHS England & Improvement.


Professor Helen Chatterjee, Professor of Biology University College London & UCL Arts & Sciences. Community engagement during the COVID pandemic: how can community assets and social prescribing redress health inequities?’
Fergus Early, Artistic Director, Green Candle Dance, ‘An inspiration, not a burden!’
Dr Virginia Tandy, Director, Creative Ageing Development Agency. ‘Making the case for creative ageing’


Professor Craig Ritchie, Chair of the Psychiatry of Ageing, Dir, Centre for Dementia Prevention at the University of Edinburgh and Brain Health Scotland, ‘Brain Health Clinics: The Scottish Model and Points for Social Prescribing’.
Dr Bogdan Chiva Giurca, Global Social Prescribing Alliance, Clinical Champion Lead, ‘Arts for Brain Health – Social Prescribing as Peri-diagnostic Practice for Dementia’.


James Sanderson, Director, Personalised Care, NHS E&I, Chief Executive, National Academy for Social Prescribing.
Alexandra Coulter, Director, National Centre for Creative Health.
Maddy Mills, Director, Entelechy Arts.
Georgia Chimbani, Dementia Lead, Association of Directors of Adult Social Services.
Dr Kalpa Kharicha, Head of Research, Policy & Practice, Campaign to End Loneliness.
Dr Jonathan Kaye, Dementia Clinical Lead, Manchester Health & Care Commissioning NHS Manchester CCG.


John McMahon, Arts and Health Lead, Arts Council England, ‘The changing landscape for arts and health through the lens of the Arts Council’s new 10-year strategy, Let’s Create.’

Ian Lush, Chair, NHS Charities Together ‘A Growing Partnership – NHS charities and the arts sector.’

Professor Alistair Burns, Summary.

Gareth Presch, CEO & Founder, World Health Innovation Summit, ‘Introduction to UN sustainable development Goal 3 Good Health & Wellbeing’.

Chair: Alexandra Coulter, Director, National Centre for Creative Health.

Claire Stevens, Chief Executive, Voluntary Health Scotland Keeping the Conversation Going: An intermediary’s story of collaboration’.
Bev Taylor, Operations Director, National Academy for Social Prescribing, ‘Communities in the lead through cross-sector partnerships.’
Kate Parkin, Creative Age Programme Manager, Equal Arts, Thriving Communities Our journey so far: Social Prescribing in Sunderland’. 

Chair: Dr Michelle Howarth, University of Salford.
Chair: Professor Carolyn Wallace, University of South Wales.
Andrea Winn, Curator of Community Exhibitions, Manchester Musuems
Made to Measure: Inclusive programmes for Older Adults at Manchester Museum’.
Dr Jonathan Kaye GP, Dementia Clinical Lead, Manchester.
Heather Etheridge, Head of Service, Be Well Service, Big Life Group, Social Prescribing and Dementia’.
Dr Mehran Javeed, Consult. Old Age Psychiatrist, Clinical Lead, Salford.
Nicky Deacon & Laura Rehman, Age Connects Torfaen.
Robert Visintainer, Men’s Sheds & Swansea City Opera.
Gwennan Mair, Head of Creative Engagement, Theatr Clywd.
Andrea Davies, Arts in Health Wellbeing Coord, Betsi Cad UHB.
Miranda Stearn, Head of Learning, Cambridge Museums, ‘Partnerships for ageing well: Promoting older people’s psycho-social wellbeing at the University of Cambridge Museums’.
Dr Dean Dorsett GP, Social Prescribing Lead, Ipswich & E.Suffolk.
Kelly Austin, Social Navigator, Granta Medical Practices.
Chrissie Moore, Programme Manager, DanceEast.

Rachel McLellan, Culture Policy Off, Culture Strategy, Scottish Govt.
Robbie McGhee, Chair, Arts Culture Health & Wellbeing Scotland, ‘How can a National Network help support social prescribing to Culture as a Peri-Diagnostic Practice for Dementia’.
Jan-Bert van den Berg, Director, Artlink Edinburgh.
Susan Grant & Ian Mackenzie, Edinburgh & Lothians Health Foundation.
Elizabeth Taylor, Services Manager, Alzheimer’s Society.
Monica Boulton, Social Prescribing Lead, Red Zebra Community Solutions, Red Zebra, Social prescribing project – connecting people to their community to support their wellbeing.’
Sian Stevenson, Creative Director, Moving Memory Dance, ‘Challenging Perceptions of Self: Feeding body, brain & soul’.
Dr Patricia Vella-Burrows, Canterbury Christ Church University.
Q&A . 
Prof Louise Dubras, Dean of Sch of Med, Ulster University.
Leanne McBrearty, Co-Chair, Regional Manager, SPRING SP.
Lorraine Calderwood, Arts Council Northern Ireland.
Dr Jenny Elliott, Chief Executive, Arts Care, ‘Arts Care Northern Ireland- Arts & Culture, an integral part of supporting the Health and Well-being of Older People.’

Chair: Professor Chris Fox, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia.

Dr Alison Dawson, Co-Leader, Dementia & Ageing Research, University of Stirling, Technology and Social Connectedness: implications for social prescription’.
Zoe Rowe, Social Innovation Consultant: Technology Guidance ‘Remote engagement: Removing barriers to inclusion in the context of COVID-19’.
David Truswell, Executive Director of the Dementia Alliance for Culture and Ethnicity, ‘Undiagnosed Artists from Unknown Cultures’.
Cailin Lynn, Development Manager, Museums of Northern Ireland, ‘Access for All at National Museums NI’.

Cicely Ryder-Belson, A4D Social Prescribing Coordinator, ‘ArtsPAL, the A4D cultural & creative befriender network’

Professor Chris Fox, Summary.
Nigel Franklin, A4D Chief Executive, ‘A4D training & social prescriber web directory of events.’


The Rt. Hon. Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester:

You have got to start with the person not the patient, prioritise social, cultural and creative interventions to prevent the risk of cognitive decline. In a 21st century NHS we need to turn things around. Social prescribing needs to be at the heart of the system. it has got to be about that wider holistic support for people with dementia, not just post-diagnosis, but from the onset of symptoms. I think ‘care’ is helping people do what they love to do, allowing them to connect with their passions, what animates them in life, empower them to do what they love doing. That is the starting point for dementia care. It is about the vision of promoting independence, creativity, empowering  people to interact and enjoy activities to preserve their brain health.’



Veronica Franklin Gould, A4D President.
Hamaad Khan, neuroscience student, interviews Ron Bennett, a fellow participant in A4D at Southwark Playhouse ‘Muse of Fire’.
Bisakha Sarker, Artistic Director, Chaturangan South Asian Dance, ‘Exchange’.

Professor John Gallacher, Professor of Cognitive Health, The University of Oxford, Director, Dementias Platform UK.


Professor Sir Muir Gray, Value-Based Healthcare, Nuffield Department of Primary Care, The University of Oxford.
Christopher Bailey, Head of Arts, World Health Organisation.
Dominic Campbell, Artistic Director, Creative Aging International ‘Celebration as Strategy – Hope and Creative Aging’.


Professor Brian Lawlor, Deputy Executive Director, Global Brain Health Institute. Professor of Old Age Psychiatry, Trinity College Dublin ‘Arts and culture as part of a framework of hope for dementia’.
Dr Michael Dixon GP, LVO, OBE, National Clinical Lead for Social Prescription, NHSE&I, Chair, College of Medicine, Co-Chair, International Social Prescribing Network.


Dr Charles Alessi, Senior Advisor, Public Health England.
Jo Ward, Co-Chair, North-West Social Prescribing Network.
Ian McCreath, Policy Manager, Personalisation & Integration, Alzheimer’s Society.

Professor Martin Marshall CBE, Chair, Royal College of General Practitioners.
Kate Duncan, Programme Director, Wellbeing, Nottingham City Arts.
Neil Fullerton, Project & Communications Lead, Brain Health Scotland.


Dr John Zeisel, Founder & Emeritus Board Member, I’m Still Here Foundation, ‘The Arts, Brain Health, and Social Change’

Veronica Franklin Gould, President, Arts 4 Dementia, introduces campaign image and exhibition by art activist Jane Frere, D-IAGNOSIS! Arts to Preserve Wellbeing: From Despair to Desire, pastels, 2019.

Professor John Gallacher, Summary.

Chair: Alyson McGregor, National Director, Altogether Better.

Adele Dunn, Senior Health Improvement, HSC Public Health Agency, ‘Building cross-sector partnerships for sustainable arts programmes.’
Nesta Lloyd-Jones, Assistant Director, Welsh NHS Confederation, ‘How the arts is supporting health and wellbeing in Wales’.
Julie Hammon, Stepping into Nature & Arts Development Company, Thriving Communities Dorset ‘Nature Buddies: re-connecting to nature through activity’.

Chair: Victoria Hume, Director, CHWA.
Chair: Dr Mohan Sekeram GP SP Clinical Lead, NHS Merton CCG.   
Dr Stephanie Tierney, MCI & SP, University of Oxford, ‘Social prescribing for people living with mild cognitive impairment (MCI)’.
Beth McDougall, Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford.
Stephen Chandler, Head Adult Services Oxfordshire CCC & CCG, President, ADASS.
Helen Fountain, Age-Friendly Creative Network, Age UK Oxford.
Concia Albert, Head of Social Prescribing, One Westminster.
VFG & Cicely Ryder-Belson A4D Dance & Drama Prescriptions in Southwark.
Jenny Marshall, Head of Member Experience, Open Age.
Khadeja Chowdhury, Bromley by Bow, ‘Space to Connect’.
Julie Kalsi, Social Prescribing Network, South East.
Dr Michele Legg GP, Clinical Lead Dementia, NHS Isle of Wight CGG
Angela Gill, Social Prescribing Network, Hampshire & Isle of Wight, ‘Hants & IoW Social Prescribing Update’.
Hannah Griffiths, Project Manager, Independent Arts, ‘Inclusivity and open to all’ – Independent Arts work on the Isle of Wight.’

Amanda Spruyt, Head of Learning, Nottingham Contemporary.
Dr Sonia Ashraf GP, Dementia Lead, Governing Body, NHS Birmingham & Solihull CCG, ‘Speaking with your GP about a diagnosis of Dementia and what happens next.’
Jennifer Luisada, Social prescribing link worker, Birmingham.
Gordon Strachan, Commissioning Mgr, Adult Soc Care, Birmingham City Council.
Dr Daisy Robinson GP, College Surgery Partnership, Cullompton SPT.
Ruth Tucker, Health Facilitator, Culm Valley, Cullompton SPT.
Gail Mistlin, Wellbeing Exeter Coordinator, ‘The Wellbeing Exeter Programme.’
Hannah Reynolds, Chair, Exeter Community Centre Trust, ‘All’s Well Heritage with Health Benefits’
Geraldine Montgomerie, Leeds Arts Health Wellbeing Network.
Dr Sara Humphrey, Clinical Lead OPMH & Dementia, NHS Yorks & Humber CN.
Ripaljeet Kaur, Coordinator, BME Dementia, Touchstone.
Tim Sanders, Community Prog Lead, D, NHS Leeds CCG/CC.

HERITAGE & NATURAL ENVIRONMENT  Chair: Craig Lister, Wellbeing Lead, East of Eng, Public Health England.

Dr Desi Gradinarova, Senior Policy Advisor, Wellbeing & Inclusion, Historic England; National Historic Environment Lead, National Academy for Social Prescribing ‘May the Force of the Past be with you: why heritage is good for the human mind and soul’.

Elizabeth Galvin, Head of Learning & Digital, Victoria & Albert Museum.

Tom Mack, Programmes Manager, Active Devon, ‘Connecting Actively to Nature’.

Sir Tim Smit, Co-Founder, The Eden Project: ‘Making Natural History’.

Craig Lister, Summary.

Veronica Franklin GouldCLOSE


D-IAGNOSIS! Arts to Preserve Wellbeing (Jane Frere, 2019, pastel) shows a double profile of a person experiencing early symptoms of dementia. The anxious diagnostic head on the left faces its own face enchanted by having taken up arts and extending a hand of comfort to the diagnostic head, whose other eye courageously swims over waves of dementia to take up all kinds of arts.

Veronica commissioned the picture to hang at museums partly as a catalyst for arts programmes for people with early symptoms and companions and also as the backdrop for the 15 cross sector meetings we have held around NHS England regions and one each for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, to encourage GPs to refer patients at the onset of symptoms, to re-energising weekly arts to help preserve their brain.
The picture will be donated to The Wellcome Collection.  Back to Top


Driving forward social prescribing as peri-diagnostic practice

To address issues arising from Arts 4 Dementia’s 2019 social prescribing conference, we commissioned “D-IAGNOSIS! Arts to Preserve Wellbeing” by the art activist Jane Frere at Tate Exchange in January 2020 as our campaign picture to help advance social prescribing to weekly arts as peri-diagnostic practice for dementia. The picture was to hang at UK museums to set up social prescribing links for dementia to reduce the trauma of diagnosis and enable people to override symptoms through weekly arts prescriptions – dynamic, effective, re-energising programmes at arts venues. 


Now that every GP has access to NHS link workers, who can empower patients to choose their rehabilitative social prescription, Arts 4 Dementia has been holding meetings gathering together leaders in academia, social prescribing, culture, health and wellbeing in every NHS region. The idea is that if GPs refer patients to link workers to choose weekly arts programmes early in the diagnostic process, by sharing cultural interests, learning new skills, the shock of diagnosis will be less, as they co-create dance, drama performances, discuss and create art, despite dementia, they can preserve identity and enjoy life in the community for longer.

Arts 4 Dementia has brought together leaders in culture, health and wellbeing, GP clinical and social prescribing leads, memory services, link workers and community connectors to connect those involved and drive forward social prescribing as pre-diagnostic practice for dementia. D-IAGNOSIS! hung at leading UK museums, who during the pandemic have hosted meetings by Zoom to drive forward the practice:

CANTERBURY: The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge Thu, 16 January, 1.30-4pm
BATH: The Holburne Museum Thu, 27 February, 2-4 pm
LONDON: The Wallace Collection, National Social Prescribing Day Thu, 12 March, 3-5 pm
OXFORD: Ashmolean Museum of Art & Archaeology, Age of Creativity Festival Wed, 6 May, 2-4pm
SOUTH-EAST, HAMPSHIRE: St Barbe Museum, Lymington Wed, 17 June, 2-4.30 pm
SOUTH-WEST, DEVON: Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter Wed, 29 July, 2-4.30 pm
NORTH-WEST, GREATER MANCHESTER: Manchester Museum Thu, 3 September, 2-5 pm
NORTH-EAST, TYNE & WEAR, NEWCASTLE: Equal Arts & Tyne & Wear Museums Thu, 24 September, 2-5 pm
YORKSHIRE & HUMBER: Leeds Museums & Galleries Wed, 21 October, 2-5pm
WEST MIDLANDS: Birmingham Museums Wed, 4 November, 2-5 pm
EAST MIDLANDS: Nottingham Contemporary Thu, 26  November, 2-5 pm
EAST OF ENGLAND, CAMBRIDGE: The Fitzwilliam Museum Mon, 7 December, 2-5 pm
SCOTLAND: GLASGOW: Scottish Opera Mon 15 February 2021, 2-5 pm
WALES: National Museum Wales                                   BRAIN AWARENESS WEEK Mon 15 March 2021, 2-5pm
NORTHERN IRELAND: The Millennium Forum  INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL PRESCRIBING DAY Thursday 18 March, 2.30-5.30pm


Reawakening Integrated: Arts & Heritage, 2017


Arts 4 Dementia Best Practice Conference “Towards Social Prescribing (Arts & Heritage) for the Dementias”, Wellcome Collection, 16 May 2019

Arts 4 Dementia (A4D) held the first UK conference on social prescribing for the dementias at The Wellcome Collection in London on Thursday 16 May, with a key policy debate and presentations by leaders in social prescribing, arts for health and social care, to drive forward direction to arts on diagnosis.

[Conference presentations are available below – please request presenters’ permission if you wish to use their material.]

Each year over 200,000 people develop a dementia – one every three minutes. There is no cure, but widespread evidence that engaging with arts and heritage helps protect against the risk of cognitive decline and empowers individuals and their carers to override anxieties caused by dementia, develop new creative experiences, preserve speech and language skills and nurture resilience in the community, despite dementia.

On diagnosis of a dementia, people need direction to the arts to counteract loss and preserve cognitive function. Social prescribing (SP), whereby surgery case managers, health support workers and link workers encourage people to choose their own arts programmes, can achieve this. But the focus of social prescribing is rarely on dementia.

Although there is not yet a cure I believe we can do more to improve the lives of people with the condition. We can and should harness the incredible power of the arts and social activities to help people cope better with symptoms and stay connected to their communities. This is the kind of good-value, easy-to-use social prescription that I’m fully behind, helping to achieve a shirt to more person-centred care as part of our NHS Long Term Plan.

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Rt. Hon. Matt Hancock

“Towards Social Prescribing (Arts & Heritage) for the Dementias” looked at the evidence, the process and impact of SP arts as non-pharmaceutical interventions for the dementias and how this can be measured.

  • Keynote speeches by Dr Michael Dixon OBE GP, National Clinical Lead for Social Prescription, NHS England and Co-Chair, Social Prescribing Network and Baroness Greengross, co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia, led to the health and social care plenary debate to steer the drive for SP for dementia as universal post-diagnostic support.
  • Presentations from surgery linkworker to prescribed arts programmes, outlining the process, were followed by cultural companion training and launch of a volunteer creative companion consortium, ArtsPAL.

A4D Conference Programme

Veronica Franklin Gould, Arts 4 Dementia, introduces the social prescribing conference for dementia and creative befriender consortium, ArtsPAL

MORNING SESSIONS chaired by Alexandra Coulter, Chair, Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance


KEYNOTE SPEECH Dr Michael Dixon OBE GP, National Clinical Lead for Social Prescription, NHS England and Co-Chair, Social Prescribing Network, “Social Prescribing for Dementia in Practice“.

KEYNOTE SPEECH Baroness Greengross, Co-Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia      

PLENARY DEBATE chaired by Dr Marie Polley, Co-Chair Social Prescribing Network

  • Dr Charles Alessi, Dementia Lead, Public Health England
  • Dr Michael Dixon OBE GP National Clinical Lead for Social Prescription, Chair, College of Medicine.
  • Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive, Care England
  • James Sanderson, Director Personalised Care Group, NHS England
  • Georgia Chimbani, Dementia Lead, Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS)
  • Ian McCreath, Personalisation Lead, Alzheimer’s Society
  • Dr Richard Ings, Arts in Health Arts in Health, Wellbeing and Criminal Justice lead, Arts Council England


ARTS FOR EARLY-STAGE DEMENTIA Chaired by Dr Trish Vella-Burrows, Principal Research Fellow, Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts & Health, Canterbury Christ Church University




Video: Social Prescribing in two minutes.