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Aesthetics for everyday quality: one way to enrich healthcare improvement debates
  1. Alan Cribb1,
  2. Graham Pullin2
  1. 1 Centre for Public Policy Research, King's College London, London, UK
  2. 2 Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Alan Cribb, Centre for Public Policy Research, King's College London, London, UK; alan.cribb{at}


In this paper we seek to illuminate the importance of aesthetics for healthcare quality and encourage more explicit discussion of aesthetics in healthcare improvement scholarship and practice. We hope to contribute to and help develop the hinterland between arts-based initiatives in healthcare and the ‘normal business’ of healthcare quality improvement. Our broad contention is: (1) That aesthetic considerations should be seen as of universal relevance across quality debates (2) That they never be assumed to have a marginal or even secondary status; and (3) That taking aesthetic considerations seriously calls for explicit discussion of associated uncertainties and dilemmas and a readiness to welcome aesthetics expertise into improvement debates.

  • arts in health/arts and health
  • Medical humanities
  • philosophy of medicine/health care
  • health care education

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  • Contributors AC wrote the first draft of this paper, led the revision process and is the guarantor. GP contributed comments on drafts and also contributed directly to the revision and editing process.

  • Funding This study was funded by Wellcome Trust (209811/Z/17/Z).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.