In 2021, the NJCT installed a memorial to the tens of thousands of nurses and midwives who came to work in England's newly established NHS in our nurses and midwives historical initiative. The Windrush & Commonwealth NHS Nurses and Midwives Statue is part of a project dedicated to the memory of all matrons, doctors, nurses, midwives, sisters, radiographers, administrators, porters, chefs, cooks, cleaners, laundry, maintenance staff, and others delivering every manner of unnamed but necessary tasks.
We know that the caring and healing communities have often been devalued in remuneration for their services. Skills of caring and compassion are too often demeaned, emotional intelligence taken for granted, and invalidated. During the pandemic, the elevation and necessity of healing our bodies, minds and collective spirit came to light. The statue pays homage to the long history of caring for others. . Designed by Dr Jak Beula, the statue is seven feet high and seven feet wide, commemorating the seven decades since the NHS's foundation. The monument, as a piece of art, is affectionately known as "NICU Suite 16"; as it is comprised of 16 parts (1 + 6 = 7), with all the details measured to a number divisible by seven, for example, the nurse's torso being 63 cm x 21 cm. The Whittington NHS Health Trust in North London, known to have employed the most significant number of nurses and midwives from an African, Asian and Minority Ethnic (AAME) background, supported housing the statue. It is not easy to come to a consensus and agree to have a statue in your backyard. But, it is brave, visionary, civic-spirited, and a leap into the unknown, and we are so proud to have partnered with the hospital. We hope that NICU will greet and nurture patients and visitors when they walk through the hospital doors. When COVID-19 is a distant memory, we hope that we will never forget how vital nurses and medical staff are and how important our NHS was in saving lives.