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Suffolk Show 2018: Powerful photographic exhibition celebrates 70 years of the NHS

PUBLISHED: 10:29 31 May 2018 | UPDATED: 15:13 31 May 2018

Photographer Warren Page with his exhibition at the Suffolk Show to celebrate 70 years of the NHS   Picture: GEMMA MITCHELL

Photographer Warren Page with his exhibition at the Suffolk Show to celebrate 70 years of the NHS Picture: GEMMA MITCHELL

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An exhibition of “raw, real and intimate” photographs from Colchester and Ipswich hospitals has been unveiled at the Suffolk Show.

Nick Hulme, chief executive of Ipswich and Colchester hospitals, unveils a photographic exhibition at the Suffolk Show    Picture: GEMMA MITCHELLNick Hulme, chief executive of Ipswich and Colchester hospitals, unveils a photographic exhibition at the Suffolk Show Picture: GEMMA MITCHELL

The display has been created by experienced photographer Warren Page to celebrate 70 years of the NHS and includes pictures of staff and patients.

Mr Page, who has worked in the field for 25 years including at the East Anglian Daily Times, took the images over the course of just one day each at Ipswich and Colchester hospitals, and he also captured some of the trusts’ work in the community.

He said: “I haven’t even scratched the surface – I could have done this job over two weeks solid and still not encompass all the good work that goes on.”

Tasked with demonstrating how the NHS has evolved since 1948, Mr Page pointed out his photo of the patient check-in stations at Ipswich’s outpatients department as one of the more modern shots, likening it to a scene from an airport.

One image of an older patient being treated by a district nurse in his front room among every day clutter and furniture was particularly striking and caught the attention of viewers at the Suffolk Show.

Jan Ingle, head of communications at Ipswich and Colchester hospitals, came up with the idea for the exhibition.

She said: “Every day I’m humbled by the acts of kindness that I see from all my clinical and support colleagues and when we thought about how do we celebrate the NHS at 70 and how do we actually show our community that it’s not just about doctors and nurses and it’s not just about the emergency department and I was sitting there with Warren at the staff awards and I said ‘I know, why don’t we do a photographic exhibition?’.

“What I didn’t want to do is say to Warren ‘go and photograph the radiotherapy department and all the team standing next to a new bit of kit. I wanted the photographs to be raw, real, intimate and scenes that are personal and powerful and for me they really sum up that the NHS is the most brilliant example of our collective humanity. It’s all about people and it’s about people caring.”

The hospitals’ joint chief executive, Nick Hulme, introduced the exhibition during a viewing at Trinity Park today.

He said: “It’s a fantastic piece of work and it really does demonstrate the work we do.”

Ipswich and Colchester hospitals will merge in July and will be run by a new umbrella organisation called East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust.

Other subjects photographed for the exhibition include a new born baby, a patient being fitted with prosthetic legs, a pharmacy robot selecting prescription items, a physio session taking place in a hydrotherapy pool and an operations leader monitoring bed flow in a control room.

Ipswich Hospital has a stall at the Suffolk Show and has also been running CPR sessions and fundraising for its major appeals for a new breast care centre and updated children’s department.

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