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Furness General Hospital welcomes the sound of music to Intensive Care Unit

Mary Dunsford, Music in Hospitals & Care

Furness General Hospital has welcomed the national charity Music in Hospitals & Care into their Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to bring live music to patients, their families and carers.

Barrow in Furness based musician, Mary Dunsford’s soothing sounds bring peace and calmness to the ICU department, helping to reduce anxiety and stress that patients, their families and carers can experience and diffusing the often distressing sounds of beeping machines.

Mary’s beautiful tranquil tones also help to humanise and provide warmth to the hospital environment.

Lynne Wyre, Director of Nursing at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT), said:

“The intensive Care Unit can be a very daunting and stressful place for both patients and their families. As well as providing intensive clinical support for patients, we recognise the importance of providing a holistic approach to care which includes emotional wellbeing. The use of music in the ICU setting has the potential to make patients more relaxed and help to reduce anxiety levels.

“The provision of live music which is tailored to each patient’s preference is a wonderful way of creating a calm and more relaxing environment”.

Allyn Dow, ICU Manager said:

“Fun, enjoyable and relaxing are common themes throughout the responses we have had so far. We are very excited to continue our work with Music in Hospitals & Care on this project in the future to ensure our patients receive the best care possible.”

Music in Hospitals & Care has been providing professionally performed live music in hospitals and other healthcare settings throughout the UK for nearly 70 years.

Jess Ingham, Music in Hospitals & Care Director for the North of England, said:

“Our musicians are carefully chosen by audition to ensure that they not only demonstrate great musicianship, but they also have the ability to connect, engage and communicate with people. Our aim is to create joy through live music, to raise mood, boost feelings of wellbeing and to reduce anxiety and stress.

“Since July 2016 we have been taking live music onto critical care wards as part of our ‘ICU-Hear’ programme – skilled artists providing calming, soothing music to patients by moving around the unit, offering a very gentle repertoire. Since its inception, we have received extremely positive feedback from patients, families and hospital staff.

“We are delighted to be bringing ICU-Hear to Furness General Hospital, and helping to support the challenging clinical environment and create a relaxing soundscape for critical care patients during their recovery.”

To find out more about Music in Hospitals & Care, please visit:

Posted in General News
2 comments on “Furness General Hospital welcomes the sound of music to Intensive Care Unit
  1. Paul Mallett says:

    Hi, great idea. we have a band however i dont think it would be suitable as we are rock and pop. Although we do the occasional open mike session. Still rock and pop though.
    We are based in Heysham. Will you be looking to extend this to the RLI?

    • Ailsa Martin says:

      Hi Paul, we’re not too sure if/when we will be extending this to the RLI, however we will share updates on here and on the Trust’s social media if we do. If you’re interested in taking part in some sessions, you can always contact our Patient Experience team on Hope this helps! ^Ailsa

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