Marion Macalpine’s Broadsides Expose Subtle Threats to the NHS.
Artist Marion Macalpine is concerned that little known Devolution and Transformation Footprints, changes already underway in the NHS, will put community hospitals such as St Leonard’s Hospital (London, N1) at risk of closure.
An NHS document from December 2015, ‘Delivering The Forward View‘, asks Commissioners, NHS Trusts and NHS foundation trusts:
What actions will you take as a system to utilise NHS estate better, disposing of unneeded assets or monetising those that could create longer-term income streams?
Marion asks why the public have not been more involved in this restructuring of the NHS, which includes pressure to meet the following 2016-17 “deliverable”:
Ensure CCGs’ local estates strategies support the overall goal of releasing £2 billion and land for 26,000 homes by 2020.
Many people refer to the “changing face of the NHS”, but only Marion, whose work has been selected for our upcoming print journal, has set out to take its portrait. Her photographs document the facades of buildings we all rely on. Their varieties are a testament to the longevity of our health service. The images themselves borrow subtly from the fashion for displaying artistic large format photographs of hospital employees. They turn your monitor into an illuminated property ad in an estate agent’s window. And that’s the point – Marion wants to tell us that the NHS is for sale. The blankness of each facade is coupled with a detailed description of what is going on behind closed doors to profit from the National Health Service. Marion’s technique is to make us visually aware of specific assets that are, or could be, effected. Hers is a public-spirited private investigation.
It is not yet known which estates will be sold, so to make real what could be at risk under Transformation Footprints Marion has photographed St Leonard’s Hospital, Nuttall Street, N1. This is the kind of estate, a centre for community care and clinics, that Marion suggests could be put in the balance.
You can look at her previous photo exhibition here, packed with things we all ought to know: