Photographic timeline charts hospitals’ rich 40 year history

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Published 26.01.2023

A stunning photographic mural charting 40 years of hospital staff, services and healthcare progress has been officially unveiled at Peterborough City Hospital.

 The striking piece of art - made of 150 images captured through the lens of well-known amateur photographer and former paramedic Chris Porsz - has pride of place along the corridor leading to the Outpatients department.

 The incredible photos record fantastic stories of advances in treatments and technology, changes in uniforms, buildings and equipment – along with personal highlights from staff past and present and many others with a connection to North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust – all set against a sea of NHS blue.

 Some of the images were taken by Chris between1974 and 1986 when he worked as an A&E porter at the then Peterborough District Hospital (PDH).

 More followed during his role as a paramedic, featuring photos of the old PDH building, maternity unit and the former Edith Cavell Hospital – culminating in the move to Peterborough City Hospital in 2010.

 The mural project, which has been a year in the making, has been funded through a lottery heritage grant. It has involved a number of people from across the Trust and is just one of the many ways in which the Trust plans to mark the 75 th anniversary of the NHS throughout 2023.

 Chris said: “Special thanks to my good friend Chris Lane, an incredibly talented local graphic designer, who has used my photographs to transform what was a long boring white corridor into a sea of NHS blue.

 “It is very satisfying to see the positive response from the staff, patients and visitors who are clearly enjoying, and are fascinated by, this colourful trip down memory lane.

 “Like a big happy family, it shows the teamwork, life-long friendships and, despite the immense pressures, the positive ‘can-do’ spirit of staff that ensures such a professional and caring environment for their patients.”

Chris added: “The mural is a tribute and shows gratitude to all our dedicated staff from all over the world who, at great personal sacrifice, got us through the pandemic. Their continued hard work, exemplary and compassionate care depicts the NHS at its very best.”

 The mural - which is also dedicated to the memory of Chris’ late wife Lesley - is based on his book ‘Just Be Kind’.

 Chris presented a cheque for £1,500 from his photography book sales to Lesley's oncologist Dr Karen McAdam and her team as a very small token of appreciation for enhancing the lives of thousands of local women and their families. 

 Half of the money raised will go to local breast cancer clinical trials and to the PCH oncology day unit.

 North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust Chief Executive Officer Caroline Walker, along with other invited guests from around the hospital, attended the official unveiling.

 Caroline said: “This timeline is a striking piece of art that is both reflective and informative of the history of the people in our hospitals over the past four decades. It gives staff, patients and visitors a talking point to reflect on healthcare over the years.

 “My huge thanks to everyone who has helped to make this possible, including the extremely talented Chris Porsz who has not only captured 40 years of healthcare in Peterborough hospitals but reveals his love for his colleagues and the people they care for.”

 Peterborough City Hospital, Rutland and Stamford Hospital and Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon are all part of North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust.

Graphic designer Chris Lane with amateur photographer Chris Porsz.

Chris Porsz presents oncologist Dr Karen McAdam and her team with a cheque for £1,500.

Long serving member of Trust staff, medical equipment manager John Ellington whose photo is feature on the timeline

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