People's History of the NHS

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Giles and NHS Nurses

Ronald "Carl" Giles (1916-1995) was probably Britain's best-known post-war cartoonist. His cartoons usually focused on the adventures of "the Giles Family", now depicted in a statue in his adopted home town of Ipswich. Hospitals, usually inpatient wards, were a favourite location, and Giles' cartoons tell us a lot about how "the imaginary NHS" was visualised in the 1960s and 1970s. Notable in these three cartoons, is the changing role of nurses, from caring and sexualised to bolshie and assertive, the ethnic diversity of the workforce, and the depiction of various conflicts within the NHS.

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