People's History of the NHS


Pinching Peas, 1969

Food has always been a big part of popular ideas about the NHS. The nurse in this cartoon is hungry enough to start stealing the patients' peas because in 1969 the NHS cut her food allowance. As a student nurse living in the hospital her actual pay packet would've been pretty meagre, with bed and board a substantial part of her income. Giles sent this signed cartoon to the East Suffolk Nurses' League. Giles was an enthusiastic supporter of better pay and conditions for nurses, and returned to NHS wards over and over again in his cartoons.

Ronald Carl Giles/Daily Express/N&S Syndicaton ( and British Cartoon Archive (

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