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Tower Seminar- Developing music therapy in the health service, supporting service growth and recovery

September 27, 2017 at 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Presenter: Stephen Sandford

Respondants: Dr Triona McCaffrey, Professor David Meagher

Chair: Dr Hilary Moss

Growth and access to arts therapies links not only to an advancing theoretical and research evidence base but also to how this evidence sits against a competitive and constrained health economy. How arts therapies develop from the “ground up” is less apparent in the literature.            This seminar will share perspectives and examples of the ongoing ground up growth and development of arts therapies within East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT). There, sixty arts therapists offer input across a wide range of services that respond to the contextual and political weather. The current climate offers both challenges and opportunities for sustaining and growing arts therapies. Examples will be shared which highlight how this is being achieved through recovery focused practice.

Professor David Meagher is Professor of Psychiatry at the UL Graduate Entry Medical School and Consultant Psychiatrist with the Health Services Executive. He is Foundation Chair, Head of Teaching and Research in Psychiatry at UL and Dean for Postgraduate training in psychiatry for the Midwestern Regional Deanery. David has over 200 scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals. Recent work has focused upon the use of computerized technology / electronics in the detection and monitoring of patients with acute cognitive failure/delirium.

David is a member of the Music and Pop Culture Group at UL and plays guitar in the Sons of Southern Ulster – an Alt/Indie Spacefolk band as well as in Section 17 (a band who advocate for Men’s Mental Health and play the music of Joy Division).


Stephen Sandford is Strategic Lead & Professional Head of Arts Therapies, East London NHS Foundation Trust. Originally from Armagh, Stephen trained as a music therapist in London in 1997. He was Clinical Lead for Music Therapy Services at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust for over ten years, prior to taking up his current full time role at East London NHS Foundation Trust in 2014. He is passionate about service development and ensuring arts therapies input is relevant to the context it is being offered.

Dr Tríona McCaffrey is a lecturer in music therapy at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick. Tríona has practiced as a music therapist in community mental health, psychiatry of old age and mental health recovery where she developed her passion for service user involvement in healthcare. Her current research interests relate to music therapy in mental health and stakeholder involvement in mental health service delivery using arts- based research methods. She is founder of the international Alliance for Recovery Research in Music Therapy and a published author in journals such as the Arts in Psychotherapy and the Journal of Music Therapy.


Dr Hilary Moss is Course Director of the MA Music Therapy at the World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick (UL), Ireland and until recently the Director of the National Centre for Arts and Health, Tallaght Hospital, Dublin. She completed her PhD in 2014 on arts and health at Trinity College Dublin School of Medicine and has an MBA in Health Service Management. She has been a music therapist for 20 years and is a trombone player. Her research interests are varied, including arts therapies in medical and mental health settings; singing and health; arts and health practice; health humanities; curatorship and inter-disciplinary research. She is Chair of the Arts and Health Research Cluster and a member of the Health Research Institute at UL and co-investigator on an Irish study of dementia friendly hospitals.


September 27, 2017
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm


Theatre 2, Irish World Academy
Ireland + Google Map