Artist Tim A Shaw and curator Niamh White founded Hospital Rooms after a close friend was sectioned and admitted to a mental health hospital. On visiting her, they were shocked to find that the hospital environment was cold and clinical at a time when she was so vulnerable. Having worked in the arts for 10 years each, they felt they had the skills and community to be able to transform these spaces with high quality artworks. In 2016, Dr Emma Whicher (now one of Hospital Rooms’ trustees) gave them the opportunity to run their first project at the Phoenix Unit, a rehabilitation unit for people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. They commissioned Nick Knight, Gavin Turk, Assemble among other world class artists to work with patients and staff to create site specific artwork for the ward. The project received national press attention and Hospital Rooms has been inundated with requests for projects ever since.