70 Years of the NHS

To celebrate and honour 70 wonderful years of the NHS in 2018, we wanted to create an entirely unique sculpture for Shrewsbury Hospital. Richard Jones, senior communications specialist at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), originally floated the idea of working with the British Ironwork Centre to create a sculpture to mark the landmark. He said: “I have known the team at the British Ironwork Centre for many years, and having been involved in a number of exciting projects with them in the past. I knew they would be the perfect partners to create something that reflects how passionate we all are about the NHS.”

Clive Knowles, the Chairman of the British Ironwork Centre, wanted to create the sculpture at no cost to the NHS using obsolete hospital equipment donated by hospitals across the Shropshire region and beyond. Through the use of upcycled medical equipment, the sculpture not only highlights the medical legacy of the NHS, but it also puts unused items to good use.

Sculpture Creation

Created by the Ironworks alongside local sculptor, Luke Kite, and a number of local nurses, this sculpture takes the form of a heart, symbolising our nation’s love for the NHS whilst depicting a fascinating story of medical history and legacy. This sculpture involved the meticulous collecting of old bits and pieces from archive rooms, metal skips, and hospital grounds before being lovingly pieced together using the likes of antiquated blood pressure monitors, parts of hospital beds, surgical hands, microscopes, wheelchairs, a former anaesthetic machine, and even a broken dialysis machine! Beautifully detailed, the full sculpture took over three months to complete from start to finish.

NHS Staff Helping to Create the Sculpture

Clive Knowles, Owner and Chairman of the British Ironwork Centre, said: “We were delighted to work with SaTH in creating this stunning sculpture to mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS. It reflects our love for the NHS but also the kind, caring and hard-working people who work in the organisation throughout Shropshire.”

The sculpture was officially unveiled at a charity fun day at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital on the 7th of July 2018, where it now remains stood proudly outside of the hospital’s general ward, ready to be viewed and admired by patients, families and staff for many years to come.

Final NHS Heart Sculpture