University of Warwick: Photography exhibition opens at George Eliot Hospital

A photography exhibition recognising the work of hospital staff through the Coronavirus pandemic has opened at George Eliot Hospital.

The portraits taken by Warwick Medical School student Matthew Thompson, were taken while he worked in the hospital during the summer of 2020. Using specially adapted and protected camera equipment, Matthew took portraits of staff in their working environment to illustrate the range of people involved in the care of patients.

Speaking at the time, Matthew said: “Meeting and photographing staff across George Eliot hospital was a humbling, insightful and unforgettable experience. What started as sharing my passion with ward staff I was assisting during a difficult time, became an endeavour to recognise as many NHS staff affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as possible.

I tried to shine a light on the vast range of roles in a district general hospital, in their places of work, which rarely see the spotlight. As a photographer, it was a privilege to create. As a medical student, it was the best education in how a hospital operates and who I will work alongside in future.”

Professor Colin Macdougall, Head of Medical Education at Warwick Medical School, said: “I am immensely proud of what our medical students did and continue to do for healthcare during the pandemic – both in terms of directly supporting patient care but also in continuing their learning to become the next generation of doctors in the most trying of circumstances. Matthew’s work also showcases the human side of this endeavour and specifically celebrates the many people at George Eliot Hospital who are so key in providing care and supporting and developing our students.”

Dr Catherine Free, Chief Medical Officer at George Eliot Hospital, said: “We welcomed Matt into the hospital and are really grateful for his professional support during the Covid pandemic. His and his colleagues’ efforts helped us during a very challenging time. His portraits capture the unity, hard work and dedication of all our staff and act as a tribute to their efforts. I’m proud to work with all of them and I look forward to when the Covid situation allows the hospital to safely open its doors to visitors so more people can enjoy these fantastic images.”

Fifteen staff feature in the exhibition ranging across staff groups including cleaners, nurses, frontline staff, medical and support teams.

The exhibition is opening as part of a wider Staff Appreciation Week that sees the efforts of staff being recognised with ward visits, wellbeing advice and the opening of a special artwork and reflection area in the hospital’s chapel garden.

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