Home Page About Us News & Events Our Services Contact Us
About Us
Emergency & Urgent Care Campus
Press office
Stepping Up members newsletter

News Details

Musician supporting intensive care patients at Stepping Hill Hospital gets an international audience

25 Sep 2023 - Press Release

A musician who plays soothing music for patients at Stepping Hill Hospital’s intensive treatment unit (ICU) has spoken at an international conference on the benefits which musical therapy can bring.

Amy Bowles made a presentation to the Neurosciences in Intensive Care International Symposium held at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, as part of a series of lectures sharing evidence of the positive neurological effects which music can have for patients.

Amy is a classically trained guitarist and singer who visits Stepping Hill Hospital’s ICU on a weekly basis, playing calming and melodious music for our patients. Her visits are part of the ‘Restore and Recover’ project funded by Arts Council England to use music to help soothe patients, staff and visitors.

She is a specialist who is trained to provide therapeutic music, and is the first musician of her kind to have a long term residency at an NHS ICU, as part of this groundbreaking project.

Her presentation drew on both her own personal experience and the weight of academic evidence that music has a statistically provable benefit on patient experience and outcomes.  This demonstrates that music has been shown to support a reduction of days in hospital, help with pain management, foster positive mental health outcomes, and support emotional regulation of staff as well as patients.

Even extremely poorly and heavily sedated patients can and do respond positively to music. Heavy medication, lack of sleep and a relentless environment can lead many people to develop symptoms of PTSD and delirium, and music has been shown to help reduce these symptoms. The music also helps busy and stressed staff to cope within a challenging working environment.

Feedback from patients, families and carers on the music has been overwhelmingly positive.

Amy has previously also played at the neonatal intensive care unit at Stepping Hill Hospital in previous years, with the support of the Music in Hospitals charity, and has also played at other hospitals, mental health trusts and care homes across the North West.

Amy Bowles said “Playing on the ICU can be a really emotional experience, for patients, carers, staff, and can remind everyone of the importance of connection and community within a clinical setting. I’d really like to thank Stockport NHS Foundation Trust and the whole critical care team for welcoming me here, and giving me the opportunity to take part in what is a really groundbreaking project for the NHS.  Therapeutic music really works, and I hope many more people are going to benefit from it in the future.”

Joe O’Brien, Matron for Critical Care, Stockport NHS Foundation Trust said “We’re so pleased that Amy is able to visit our patients each week to play her beautiful music, we always look forward to when the day comes.  Even for the most seriously ill, music can have really positive effects, and patients and families have made it clear that they really appreciate it. We’re also delighted she has been able to share her experiences in Paris so that more people can find out about the advantages therapeutic music can bring. ”


Amy Bowles on our ICU
Amy playing

Other news

SAS doctor colleague of the year

04 Dec 2023 - Press Release
A Stepping Hill Hospital orthopaedic doctor has been named as a colleague of the ...

Making A Difference award for district nurse heroes

28 Nov 2023 - Press Release
Two district nurses who came to the aid of a distressed man who had fallen from ...

Closure of Outpatients B

23 Nov 2023 - Press Release
Following an inspection report of our Outpatient B Department at Stepping Hill H ...

A Royal invite for nurse Angel

23 Nov 2023 - Press Release
Angel Rose C.O., a nurse who works on our acute medical unit, was among the invi ...

The Healing Power of Music - National Health Executive

22 Nov 2023 - Press Release
The latest November/December edition of National Health Executive magazine featu ...

© Stockport NHS Foundation Trust 2023. Stepping Hill Hospital, Poplar Grove, Stockport, SK2 7JE. 0161 483 1010