Will the NHS live much beyond 65?

Stewart and Shona Wall with the new book EMN-150123-143343001
Stewart and Shona Wall with the new book EMN-150123-143343001

Caistor photographer Stewart Wall and journalist wife Shona have edited a book to mark 65 years of the National Heath Service.

Stewart is a member of the Royal Photographic Society and its North East Contemporary Group was looking for an idea for a project.

On hearing the NHS was 65, it accepted Stewart’s idea of a book on it. Featuring the works of 11 photographers, including Stewart, the book presents a portrait of a changing service, looking at finances, technology, the buildings, even the doctors having a cigarette break in decades gone by.

Stewart has often filmed at hospitals throughout his photography career, with his work for the book revealing how it took him just over six minutes for him to photograph every one of 100 cars that arrived at Grimbsy Hospital for treatment, something he says shows how busy hospitals are.

He also volunteers for the US charity “Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep” which involves professional photographers taking photos of stillborn babies, something he says provides much comfort to grieving mums.

Having studied much about the NHS, the couple fear for its future, whoever is in power, with Shona noting services are increasingly outsourced, though still free at the point of delivery.

“I think everybody should be concerned and keep an eye on what’s happening. The public can only delay the inevitable. The inevitability is the NHS will go into private hands,” he said.

The book will be published before the General Election.