ICU Hear®

It’s wonderful. To me, music is really good for healing. It can move mountains and it can move people’s hearts.

Live music can make people’s experience of hospital less stressful, especially when they are seriously ill. It can reduce the perception of pain and improve physical and emotional health.

That’s why we developed ICU Hear®, an award-winning approach using live music to improve care in high dependency and intensive care units.

Our professional musicians share specially-created live music experiences at people’s bedsides. The carefully chosen songs and calming melodies they share help reduce stress and anxiety for patients and their families. This creates a relaxing atmosphere in what can be a noisy, busy and challenging environment.

It also improves the morale of health and care staff during busy and difficult times, helping them to provide support for the people they look after.

ICU Hear® was launched at Manchester Royal Infirmary in 2016 and is now shared in critical care wards in several major UK hospitals.

Did you know? One study found that live harp music in a critical care unit reduced pain by more than a quarter (27 %).

“One critical care patient who was very unwell and needing respiratory support especially enjoyed the session. She was singing along quietly and tapping her feet, whereas before the session she was just lying still. Another patient and her family really enjoyed the music. Her husband is interested in playing the ukulele and they had lots of requests which Sharon, the musician kindly granted. A younger critical care patient really enjoyed the music, Sharon played George Ezra which he knew and enjoyed. Some visiting medical staff didn’t initially realise the music was live and were amazed.”
Susie Lawley, Specialist Nurse for Critical Care Rehabilitation, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead

“The critical care environment is, at times, chaotic, loud, busy and stressful. This is changed in an instant to that of calmness, concentration, relaxation and quietness simply by the presence of the musicians and their performance.”
Cath Applewhite, Patient Experience Lead and Critical Care Sister, Manchester Royal Infirmary

Follow #ICUHear on Twitter

Read about ICU Hear in the ICU Management & Practice journal

Find out about Lullaby Hour, our award-winning specially-created live music experience for babies, children and their parents or carers.

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Please give today to help improve the health and wellbeing of children and adults through the healing power of live music.