To Provide All People

Owen Sheers
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ISBN 9780571348077 Format Hardback
Published 21/06/2018 Length 128 pages

About Book

July 2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the National Health Service Act. Owen Sheers, the author of Pink Mist and the BAFTA nominated The Green Hollow, has created a virtuosic 'film-poem' to coincide with the Vox Pictures/BBC production broadcast to mark the occasion.

To Provide All People is the intimate story of the N.H.S in British society today. Depicting 24 hours in the service, with a regional hospital at the centre of the action, the poem charts an emotional and philosophical map of the N.H.S against the personal experiences that lie its heart; from patients to surgeons, porters to midwives. This is a world of transformative pains, triumphs, losses and celebrations that joins us all in our universal experiences of health and sickness, birth and death, regardless of race, gender or wealth.

Based upon over 70 hours of interviews, the work is punctuated with the historical narrative of the birth of the N.H.S Act – from its origins in a local miners’ scheme in Tredegar in Wales, through multiple hearings, amendments and battles with the press, the B.M.A and the Conservative party, to its coming into effect in July 1948.

To Provide All People is a work that excavates what the N.H.S. represents and means – on a personal and national level – and paints an authentic, tonal picture of a rare social phenomenon, illuminating with exquisite sensitivity and power why the ethos at its heart should always be protected.

  • About Owen Sheers

    Owen Sheers is a poet, novelist and playwright. Twice-winner of the Wales Book of the Year, his books of poetry include Skirrid Hill, winner of a Somerset Maugham Award, the BAFTA-nominated The Green Hollow, and the verse drama Pink Mist, winner of the Hay Festival Poetry Medal. In 2018 he was awarded the Wilfred Owen Poetry Award. Sheers’ theatrical work includes The Two Worlds of Charlie F., winner of the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award, Mametz, and National Theatre Wales’s seventy-two hour The Passion. Chair of Wales PEN Cymru and Professor in Creativity at Swansea University, he lives in the Black Mountains of Wales with his wife and two daughters.

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