People's History of the NHS


Blue curtain

This particular image of the generic blue curtain found across all hospitals within the UK was the first thing that came to mind when I thought of 'the NHS'. Any patient who has spent time in one of these perfectly aligned beds will not only remember its striking colour, but will also think about the senses and emotions mustered when the curtain was pulled shut and the most minimal of privacy was awarded.

Lauren Fudge


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One thought on “Blue curtain

  1. Interesting. Are the NHS curtains always blue? Is there a logic behind the choice of colour? And how has this changed over time?

    The issue of privacy is fascinating in relation to the public NHS. Some of the central imagery for the NHS (all those Carry On films for instance) is of patients lying in beds, side-by-side, in hospital wards. But there’s also clearly a history of perhaps rising concern over privacy which cuts across this. The thin curtains, and their thin veil of privacy, is perhaps the compromise. It would be interesting to know more about popular attitudes to this central object of everyday life in the hospital.

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