Nightingale Hospital inspires Long Melford physiotherapist's artistic tribute to NHS workers fighting coronavirus outbreak
Inspired by the efforts of the NHS and the emergency critical care hospitals set up to help combat coronavirus (Covid-19), a physiotherapist has decided to use her time in lockdown to paint a fitting tribute.
Julie Iveson, whose physiotherapy clinic in Little St Mary’s, Long Melford, has had to temporarily close due to the pandemic, says she has been overwhelmed by the social media response to her artistic homage to front-line medical workers battling the virus.
Her painting depicts a nightingale in a nurse’s uniform – a reference to the new NHS Nightingale Hospitals, established around the country in response to the outbreak, and their namesake, Florence Nightingale.
A member of the Suffolk Art Society, Julie explained she is unable to join many other physiotherapists involved in supporting patients with Covid-19, because she suffers from asthma, but said one benefit of the current situation is having more time to paint.
“As I am asthmatic, I have to stay at home rather than offer my services to the NHS,” she told the Free Press. “I would love to have helped more, as physiotherapists are playing an important role in assisting patients with Covid-19, both in intensive care, on the wards and in the community.
“It is amazing how the NHS has adapted so quickly to be able to offer the necessary treatments to all those in need.
“The building of the Nightingale Hospitals particularly lit a thought in what I might paint.
“Florence Nightingale was such an iconic part of NHS history, and hence my painting of a blue nightingale in a nurse’s uniform just seemed right.
“This wasn’t to make any money. It was a passion exercise that I feel reflected what is happening.
“There has been a lovely response. I have shared it with the NHS and on art forums, and people have been really touched by it.”
Julie, who lives in Great Cornard, added that it has been challenging working around the current circumstances, following the closure of her practice, The Iveson Clinic in Long Melford, a month ago.
The practice has now adapted to provide remote patient consultations over the phone or via the internet.
“Like everyone else, we are having to dig deep right now,” Julie said. “We have received support from the Government through the small business grant, which is reassuring, but we are looking forward to being able to get back to work.”