TWO men are using the power of music to make hospital visits calmer, more comfortable and enjoyable for Broomfield Hospital’s patients.

Professional musicians David McKenny and Joe Danks both dreamt about using their music to help people.

So, together, funded by the Essex Music Education Hub, the Essex Cultural Commission and the Mid Essex Hospital Services Trust, the duo created Pulse Arts CIC, which sees them travel around hospitals with their guitars, playing to patients on wards or undergoing procedures.

They are now half-way through a pilot scheme at Broomfield Hospital.

David, 32, said: “There isn’t any other provision for this in the East of England as far as we know, it’s a new initiative.

“There has been lots of research about how music helps increase well being and speeds recovery and we hope to be able to improve the hospital experience for patients, too.”

During their latest visit to Broomfield Hospital, a tense atmosphere in the children’s phlebotomy clinic was eased when David and Joe begin playing,their hushed voices and gentle guitar strumming calming and captivating an anxious toddler waiting for a blood test.

Joe, 20, added: “This is something we are both very interested in and passionate about.

“It’s amazing seeing the difference music can make.”

Find out more about Pulse Arts at

Tunes prove to be tonic for kids

HOSPITAL visits can be incredibly stressful, even more so when the patient is a child.

But the music played by Pulse Arts not only calmed a tense atmosphere but created a distraction for patients and parents alike.

Neil Mann, from Bocking, bought his son Evan, two, to the phlebotomy clinic at Broomfield, along with his brother Ethan.

Although Ethan was upset during his time in the treatment room, Mr Mann said: “He was mesmerised by it in the waiting room and I think it calmed him down a lot quicker.

I thought it was really lovely.”

Gemma Thomas, who took her son James, 14 months, to the clinic, added: “If he hadn’t come outside and seen the guitar, he would have been quite upset. but it’s a very lovely distraction.

I think it’s something which would have a huge positive impact for lots of other children and their families.”