Campaign to End ‘Bed Blocking’ Taking UK by Storm


Artists throughout the country are teaming up in an unprecedented campaign to find solutions to delayed transfer of care in the NHS.

Over the last few weeks, three of 17 artists participating in the campaign have made a splash by placing bed-like art installations across iconic locations in Edinburgh, London, and Southampton. More will follow in the coming weeks.

Pete Dowds, CEO of Elder, the organisation leading the campaign said: ‘This is the very first movement of its kind. Bringing together artists, doctors and innovators. It’s not about lobbying for more money, it’s about shifting attitudes, and these installations really provoke a response.’ 

Artist of a recent London piece, Felicity Swan, said: ‘It’s nothing to do with the care in the hospital, but everything to do with being at home in your own bed’’ 

Edinburgh artist Caitlin Dick is quoted as saying: ‘How uncomfortable it must be for individuals being in that situation, so I wanted to raise awareness of that. By putting the viewer into that position, feeling uncomfortable.’ 

Despite some recent progress, estimates put the cost of delayed transfers at a staggering £550 per minute. That may not be the half of it. In 2016 findings, the National Audit Office suggested NHS figures may hugely underestimate the true scale of the problem.

The campaign is UK-wide and will continue to take the country by storm for the next four weeks. Installations are still planned for more locations in London, as well as Oxford, Leeds, and many more. Elder has even hinted at a piece in front of Big Ben.


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