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Staff recreate pre-NHS photo to mark 70-year milestone

Undated handout photo issued by the Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, of a recreation of a staff photograph taken at Sandwell HospitalÍs headquarters in West Bromwich in 1927, when it was known as Hallam Hospital, of Matron Ashworth and Assistant Matron Harding with with other staff sisters. This picture shows present day staff Back Row left to right: Jo Cresswell, Ward Manager; Terry Byrne, Charge Nurse; Rose Bogle, Sister; Avnash Nanra, Ward Manager; Tracey Weston, Ward Manager; Tiffany Jones, Sister; Louise Wilkin, Sister. Front Row: Lydia Nestor, Matron; Debi Fretwell, Matron; Debbie Talbot, Associate Chief Nurse; Elaine Newell, Former Chief Nurse; Stephanie Coates, Matron; Antoinette Cummings, Matron and Sister, Janice Barrett. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday July 4, 2018. The re-enactment, taken in the exact same spot, shows a more multi-cultural and modern NHS. Bosses at Sandwell Hospital released the photographs to mark the 70th birthday of the National Health Service. Even though the old picture was taken 19 years before the NHS was established it still captures the beginnings of what went onto become one of the most valued health care systems in the world. The picture was unearthed by two employees at Sandwell Hospital, who found it in a broom cupboard. It is part of a precious haul of snaps dating between 1927 and 1966. See PA story HEALTH NHS70 Photo. Photo credit should read: Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

By Matthew Cooper, Press Association

Health workers have marked the NHS's 70th anniversary by recreating an "amazing" 1920s staff photograph which was discovered in a broom cupboard.

The original image, showing a matron, her assistant and nurses wearing traditional nursing caps, was taken at Sandwell Hospital's headquarters in West Bromwich in 1927, when it was known as Hallam Hospital.

Undated handout photo issued by the Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, of Matron Ashworth and Assistant Matron Harding with with other staff sisters which was taken at Sandwell HospitalÕs headquarters in West Bromwich in 1927, when it was known as Hallam Hospital.  Photo: Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust/PA Wire

Undated handout photo issued by the Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, of Matron Ashworth and Assistant Matron Harding with with other staff sisters which was taken at Sandwell HospitalÕs headquarters in West Bromwich in 1927, when it was known as Hallam Hospital.
Photo: Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust/PA Wire

Fourteen staff members at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust recently posed in a similar line-up outside what was once the site's nurses' home.

Avnash Nanra, ward manager for the paediatric/adolescent assessment unit at the trust, which runs the hospital, featured in the re-enactment.

She said: "The old picture is truly amazing and shows a completely different side to the health care service.

"You can clearly see how things have changed over the years. I was privileged to be part of this project and I hope that the re-enactment will be looked at in years to come."

Electronic patient records systems trainer Sue Woodcock was given the picture and other images covering the period from 1927 to 1966 by two ward service officers.

She said: "I was chatting to them about history, and they told me about how they had found these old pictures in one of the broom cupboards.

"I was keen to see them and so went along with them to have a look. I was astonished to find these very old and interesting photographs.

"I have kept them safe ever since. When I heard that there was going to be a huge celebration for NHS70, I thought these pictures would be perfect. It would be a great opportunity to share them with our colleagues and visitors."

All the pictures, which were found earlier this year, will be on show at Sandwell Hospital between 10am and 2pm on Thursday, during a tea party to mark the NHS anniversary.

The hospital is seeking information about the staff members shown in the 1927 image. Anyone related to any of the nurses pictured is asked to contact Anuji.evans@nhs.net

Pics by Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust/PA Wire