Five winners of a photography competition for NHS staff and volunteers to mark 75 years of the health service have been unveiled today at the FUJIFILM House of Photography, with images including long-serving nurse, ‘Mother Obe’, the NHS COVID-19 vaccination effort and an ambulance battling the Beast from the East among the winning images.
The national competition, run by NHS England in partnership with Fujifilm, saw hundreds of the health service’s staff and volunteers from across the country enter photographs that told their unique stories of what the NHS means to them.
The five winners, each of whom represent the broad range of professions across the health service, were picked from a shortlist of 75 photographs across five different categories and their photographs will be displayed at the NHS 75th anniversary service at Westminster Abbey on Wednesday 5 July. The list of winning photographers boasts a senior pharmacist, a research nurse and a paramedic.
All of the 75 shortlisted images will also be displayed in an exhibition titled ‘Our NHS at 75’, held at the FUJIFILM House of Photography in Covent Garden, London, and open to public viewing from the 5 July 2023, exactly 75 years to the day that the NHS was established.
The competition saw hundreds of eye-catching images submitted, representing the full gambit of life across the NHS, with the winners selected by a six-strong judging panel as those that best represented the incredible care, expertise and ingenuity that is continually evident in the health service up and down the country.
The winners include a portrait of a nurse at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital who has been looking after patients for 47 years. Nurse Emmanuel Espiritu took the image, entitled ‘Dedication’, to take the prize for the Our People category and depicts a nurse affectionally named ‘Mother Obe’ who is renowned for sharing nearly half a century of expertise as a mentor to new nurses.
The winner of the Our Innovations category, ‘The Solution’ by senior pharmacist Wasim Baqir, was taken on Christmas Eve 2020 during one of his shifts an NHS COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Northumbria and shows hundreds of used vaccine vials in an orange sharps bin illustrating the NHS’ mammoth effort to deliver the vaccination programme.
Paramedic Joe Cartwright’s photograph of an ambulance battling snowy conditions as the Beast from the East hit the UK won the Our Environment category, while senior research nurse Ewa Gasior’s winning image in the Our Care category depicts the many hands that contribute to delivering patient care. The winner of the Our Partners category, by Jenny Brodie, captures the touching moment Flo, a freelance hairdresser funded by the Royal Free Charity, provides one of her weekly cut and wash services to a grateful patient.
NHS chief executive, Amanda Pritchard, said: “This competition has provided the perfect opportunity for our incredible staff and volunteers to give a snapshot of life in the NHS, 75 years on from its inception – and we were amazed by the hundreds of brilliant, thought-provoking, and inspiring entries from NHS colleagues across the country.
“I want to offer my personal congratulations to the winners and everyone that took part – as we mark 75 years of the health service, your images will provide fantastic insight into life in our remarkable NHS throughout the exhibition and I cannot wait to see them in person.”
Tom Watanabe, Managing Director for Fujifilm UK, said: “As a proud partner to the NHS for many years, we are honoured to collaborate with them on this competition. We know from working with NHS colleagues up and down the country the passion they have for the health service, even in the most challenging of times, so we were delighted to help shine a spotlight on some of these fantastic stories. The exhibition will offer the public a unique opportunity to see what happens behind the scenes in our health service every day and it is a fitting way to mark 75 years of the NHS.”
A celebration event for the winners and all the shortlisted photographers will take place at a special launch event of the exhibition at the FUJIFILM House of Photography on Tuesday 4 July.
Also present at the event will be the judging panel, which consisted of This Morning’s resident GP Dr Ellie, award-winning journalist Victoria Macdonald, eminent photographer Lewis Khan, NHS England’s Chief Nursing Officer Dame Ruth May, Dr Habib Naqvi MBE and Fujifilm’s Theo Georghiades.
The five competition categories and their winners are:
1. Our People
From the nurses, doctors and other clinicians who care for us in our time of need, to the porters and cleaners who keep our hospitals moving our people are the driving force behind the NHS. This category recognises the individuals and teams that make up who the NHS is.
Winner: Emmanuel Espiritu, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
2. Our Innovations
Since 1948, the NHS has innovated and adapted to meet the needs of each successive generation, putting patients at the heart of everything it does. This category celebrates innovation across the NHS in all its forms – from cutting edge treatments to pioneering ways of delivering care.
Winner: Wasim Baqir, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
3. Our Environment
The NHS has more patients sleep in our beds each night than there are hotel rooms in London. The way our buildings are designed and used provides opportunities to support better patient care and staff wellbeing. This category explores NHS grounds and buildings – indoors and out – and how individuals, teams and communities are working together to integrate sustainability into what we do.
Winner: Joe Cartwright, South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
4. Our Care
Kindness and compassion are at the heart of how we deliver care in the NHS. This category will capture that core value – whether that is the care we provide our patients, or to each other as colleagues.
Winner: Ewa Gasior, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
5. Our Partners
Every day the NHS is witness to extraordinary teamwork – a coming together of NHS staff alongside hundreds of thousands of volunteers, partners, charities and beyond. This category is to celebrate the crucial role those partnerships play in helping us deliver the best possible care for patients.
Winner: Jenny Brodie and Mary McConnell, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust and Royal Free Charity
For the full list of winners and shortlisted photographs, please visit the Fuji website.