New book shows heart-rending and celebratory pictures of extraordinary work of NHS hospitals in Banbury and Oxford during the pandemic

A book, containing images that give a snapshot of the extraordinary work of the Banbury and Oxford hospitals through the Covid-19 emergency, has been published.

By Roseanne Edwards
Tuesday, 18th January 2022, 11:29 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th January 2022, 11:30 am
Research nurse Emily Taylor and Senior Sister Michelle Young pictured in intensive care at the Horton General Hospital in May 2020
Research nurse Emily Taylor and Senior Sister Michelle Young pictured in intensive care at the Horton General Hospital in May 2020

The book - available to see online - is called Beyond Words and has been released by the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust as the second anniversary of the first Covid patients approaches.

It creates a permanent record of images marking a unique time in the personal and professional lives of the 'OneTeamOneOUH' staff.

Beyond Words contains photographs of patients being treated on the wards, staff in their stifling PPE (personal protective equipment), cleaners, porters, fundraisers and many others who have worked, and are still working, in difficult circumstances at the trust's hospitals - the Horton General in Banbury and the JR, Churchill and Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Oxford.

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Recovering Covid patient Michael Henderson receives chest physiotherapy from Jo Hobbs and Claire Scott-Dempster

Many staff submitted photos for inclusion in the book, which has been designed and produced in-house by the communications and Oxford Medical Illustration (OMI) teams.

With funding from Oxford Hospitals Charity, printed books are being provided free of charge to all staff who have requested to receive a copy and the trust is also providing copies for governors, volunteers and many other people who have supported the hospitals' response to the pandemic.

In his foreword to Beyond Words, OUH Chief Executive Officer Dr Bruno Holthof writes: “The title (of the book) reflects the fact that our experiences during the pandemic are truly ‘beyond words’. Powerful images can tell a story and evoke emotions of a period that we will never forget.

“I am delighted so many staff submitted their photo memories for this book. Our team efforts in diagnostic testing, infection prevention and control, vaccinations and new Covid-19 treatments have saved many lives in Oxfordshire, the Thames Valley, England and the rest of the world.”

Beyond Words - the book of images of hospital work during the Covid emergency published this week by the OUH

Douglas Graham, Chief Executive of Oxford Hospitals Charity which has not only been by the side of OUH staff throughout the Covid-19 pandemic but also made Beyond Words possible, added: “The past two years have been such a significant chapter in all our lives and it felt important to document the history happening right here, within our hospitals.

“We do also hope the Beyond Words book will act as a small thank you to all those who have worked so hard during these difficult times.”

Beyond Words forms part of the Trust’s Growing Stronger Together – Rest, Reflect, Recover programme which aims to support the health and wellbeing of all staff working at OUH – it is an opportunity to reflect on a time of unprecedented challenges, both personally and professionally.

It is published as the trust approaches the two-year anniversary of the day when the first Covid-19 positive patients were admitted to OUH for treatment on February 4, 2020.

To see Beyond Words online go to this link