National Creative Health Associates Programme

11th April 2023

The National Centre for Creative Health (NCCH) is delighted to announce the Creative Health Associates Programme. Funded by Arts Council England and delivered by NCCH, the Creative Health Associates programme will see seven Creative Health Associates, one in each of the seven NHS regions in England, working to embed creative approaches and activities in health and care systems across the country.

This programme will support the NCCH’s ambition to foster the conditions for creative health to be integral to health and care and demonstrate the power of culture and creativity to benefit the lives of individuals and communities.

The Creative Health Associates programme represents an investment of £600,000 over 18 months by Arts Council England, one of the largest grants Arts Council has made to a creative health project. The programme will make a significant contribution to meeting the aims of Arts Council England’s Creative Health and Wellbeing plan by promoting creative health as a fundamental part of living well and by placing creativity at the heart of people’s lives, particularly those experiencing inequalities.

Today NCCH are advertising eight new posts. Seven Creative Health Associates will be hosted by Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) in each of the seven NHS regions. We are also advertising for a Creative Health Associate Programme Manager who will work with NCCH to coordinate the programme and support the Creative Health Associates to learn from each other and from experts in the field including experts by experience.

Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England says:

“We know that creativity can have an enormous impact on health and wellbeing, and that linking creative activities with healthcare can give doctors, nurses and other practitioners powerful new tools to improve the wellbeing of the people they care for.  We’re excited to continue our work in the growing field of creative health as a partner of organisations such as NCCH, and look forward to seeing the impact this ground-breaking project has in the years to come.”

Lord Howarth of Newport, Chair of the NCCH says:

We welcome this significant investment by Arts Council England to help grow and spread creative health across the country. In the NCCH’s current Creative Health Review we hear profoundly moving stories and compelling research about the benefits of creativity for the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities, but too often access to cultural and creative opportunities is not there for those who need them most. These seven regional Creative Health Associate posts will ensure that we build capacity, knowledge and understanding in every area of England and will strengthen the powerful contribution creativity can make in tackling health inequalities and improving the health and wellbeing of all.”

Find out more about the Creative Health Associates posts here. Deadline for applications is midnight on 30th April 2023.

Host ICBs

ICBs are statutory bodies within Integrated Care Systems.

East of England

NHS Norfolk & Waveney ICB


NHS North East London ICB


NHS Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin ICB

North East and North Yorkshire

NHS North East and North Cumbria ICB

North West

NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria ICB

South East

NHS Sussex ICB

South West


Creative health involves creative approaches and activities that prevent ill-health and promote health and wellbeing. It aids the management of long-term conditions, treatments, and recovery across the life course. It can help strengthen social cohesion and reduce health inequalities. Activities can include visual and performing arts, crafts, film, literature, cooking and creative activities in nature, such as gardening.

The National Centre for Creative Health (NCCH) aims to advance good practice and research, inform policy and promote collaboration, helping to foster the conditions for creative health to be integral to health and social care and wider systems. It was set up in response to Recommendation 1 in the APPG AHW report: Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing and became a registered charity in 2020. More information is available on the National Centre for Creative Health at   @TheNCCH

Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. We have set out our strategic vision in Let’s Create that by 2030 we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where everyone of us has access to a remarkable range of high-quality cultural experiences. We invest public money from Government and The National Lottery to help support the sector and to deliver this vision.

Following the Covid-19 crisis, the Arts Council developed a £160 million Emergency Response Package, with nearly 90% coming from the National Lottery, for organisations and individuals needing support. We are also one of the bodies responsible for administering the Government’s unprecedented Culture Recovery Fund, of which we delivered over £1 billion to the sector in grants and loans. Find out more at