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Left Arm or Right?

In 2021 an artwork was commissioned to celebrate the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme and recognise the staff who played a vital role in this work.

This included staff from Estates, Procurement, Digital Services, Pharmacy and the Patient Contact Centre, alongside clinical staff across the Trust.

Left Arm or Right? (pictured in the banner image on this page) is a 'Bayeux Tapestry' of the vaccination programme journey, telling the story from lockdown in 2020 through to the end of 2021.

It has been created by stitching artist Harriet Riddell and comprises one large main piece stitched onto nursing uniforms and 10 smaller portraits of staff in different roles.

Naive images of vaccination clinics embroidered onto three NHS staff uniform shirts.

Harriet's Research

In early 2021 Harriet brought her sketchbook and sewing machine into the vaccination centres at the Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism (OCDEM) and at the Horton General Hospital, to document the process of vaccinating staff and patients.

In many of her sketches she incorporated words gathered from conversations between staff administering the vaccinations and those getting their vaccine, stitching directly onto face masks in some cases.

Behind the Numbers

The artwork is accompanied by a poem, Behind the Numbers by Trust Poet Beth Calverley, co-created with staff involved in the vaccination programme, giving an insight into their work.

Where to see the artwork

The original stitched artwork is installed in the Level 2 main entrance of the John Radcliffe Hospital.

Prints of the artwork are installed in

  • Horton General Hospital Restaurant
  • Churchill Hospital Restaurant corridor
  • Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre atrium
  • Trust offices in Cowley, Levels 1 and 3.

All are accompanied by a selection of stitched portraits, a text panel and copy of the poem.

The project has been developed by Artlink, the Trust's arts programme and funded by Oxford Hospitals Charity.

Tea Towel

Harriet has created a tea towel for Oxford University Hospitals which brings together her stitched work for the Trust in one artwork you can pin on your wall.

Tea towel with multiple naive images of vaccination clinics embroidered on it.

They are £19 each with profits to Oxford Hospitals Charity.

OUH Vaccination Roll-Out NHS Art Print T-Towel - Etsy

Last reviewed:02 November 2023