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A poem by Stephen Lee Hodgkins


Enjoy this poem from Stephen Lee Hodgkins, artist working with staff at York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

A close up of a person's hands holding a pen and writing on paper


How many births, deaths, 

And staff named Geoff? 

Pints of blood, and children being treated for 

Falls, bumps and thuds. 

How many recent retirees? Sandwiches made of cheese, 

And caring new starters from overseas? 

What about Covid tests, 

And all the linen for hospital beds? 

Ultrasounds, and an average nurse salary in GBPounds. 

Prescription fees and, 

Replacement knees? 

Rings of the Cancer bell? 

Squirts of detergent that give floral smells? 

Machines that do x-ray, hot meals on a tray, 

Plus, industrial disputes over staff pay. 

What’s the number of surgical hammers, 

And quality scores for bedside manners? 

Buckets and mops, opening hours of the shops, 

Latex gloves? 

All these numbers with love, striving to keep us well and alive, 

The NHS aged 75. 

You can discover more of Stephen’s work at Stephen Lee Hodgkins – Chronic doodler and community printmaker