Darryl Cunningham, one of Britain’s premier journalistic graphic novelists, has recently worked with Warwick University’s History department for their People’s History of the NHS project, resulting in a new (and free download) PDF – Voices from the NHS:
Cunningham is the author of Science Tales, Psychiatric Tales, Billionaires: The Lives of the Rich and Powerful, and his new graphic novel, out from Myriad Editions on 16 September, Putin and Russia: The Rise of a Dictator. His unique style lends itself so well to these well-researched, well-informed, and always absolutely fascinating reportage graphic novels.
Voices from the NHS, 24 pages long, comes from the Warwick University People’s History of the NHS project, with Cunningham turning just a few of the stories collected into comics. The Warwick Uni project is the result of six years of collecting stories from those who both worked in the NHS and benefitted from it, and Voices of the NHS is a thank you to all those who contributed and also a tribute to all those involved in what, surely, is the crowning glory of Great Britain’s history.
For those who aren’t aware, the NHS, founded in 1948, is a public health service, free for all, an incredible achievement for a country just coming out of the Second World War, crippled, rebuilding, poverty-stricken. And, since then, the NHS has continued to be a beacon for what could be possible, providing health care to all, not as a thing for profit that is only accessible to those lucky enough to have the sort of comprehensive health insurance that many over in the USA can only dream of.
It struggles on today, with successive governments seemingly intent on running it down, egged on by the interests of private medicine and its big pockets. And the last couple of years of Covid have shown just how vitally important the NHS is to the UK, with its underpaid workers, its underfunded departments all working tirelessly and selflessly, at great risk, to battle the pandemic.
Voices from the NHS is a perfect celebration of the institution, acknowledging its faults, but also championing the idea and the ideals of the UK’s finest achievement.