This month marks the NHS’ 70th birthday, and to celebrate, seven illustrators and artists have created charity prints that represent the nation’s treasured free healthcare system.
In the 1940s the Labour Party was in power, and then-health minister Aneurin Bevan went about establishing a system that would enable everyone in society, regardless of wealth, to have access to free, decent healthcare.
70 years of the NHS
On 5 July 1948, Bevan established the National Health Service (NHS) on three core principles: that it would meet the needs of everyone, be free at the point of delivery and be based on clinical need rather than the ability to pay.
In 2018 the NHS is still an integral part of the UK, and artists Peter Blake, Tom Hammick, Mona Hatoum, David Mach, Elizabeth Magill, Chris Orr and Jeremy Deller have produced prints to commemorate the healthcare service, which will be sold to raise money for some of London’s busiest hospitals.
Imperial Health Charity
The project has been organised by the Imperial Health Charity, which helps hospitals through grants, arts, volunteering and fundraising. It supports five hospital groups including Charing Cross, Hammersmith, Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea, St Mary’s and the Western Eye hospitals, and funds clinical research and medical equipment.
It also has a focus on creativity, and commissions art and design projects to make hospitals more welcoming places, holding a collection of 2,000 artworks produced for hospitals so far.
Donated to 10 hospitals
The artworks are being produced by printer Worton Hall Studios and sold online through CCA Galleries, priced between £250 and £2,000.
After being sold, they will be reprinted for a touring exhibition which will travel London hospitals including St Mary’s, Charing Cross and Hammersmith. 10 sets of prints will also be donated to different hospitals to keep permanently.
The sale will be live on CCA Galleries’ website from 5 July. All proceeds will go towards the Imperial Health Charity’s network of London hospitals.