I am a fit man, but it seems I was always destined to be involved with health politics. Years before I married a GP (who is now a medical director), I was already illustrating a series of columns about health.
For five years in the Eighties I did a monthly illustration for Jim Naughtie’s column in Nursing Times. I was consistently well-briefed by deputy editor Andrew Cole, which was a relief because the world of health politics was and is labyrinthine. The tensions between Thatcherism and the NHS provided a simmering drama that was ripe for illustration in the time-honoured cartoon style, rich with metaphors requiring an endless supply of labels. Labels are alright by me because I love lettering.
These drawings appeared on a three-column right-hand page, but most of them are drawn four columns wide, to extend across the margin into one column of the left-hand page. You can see in each picture there’s a ‘dead area’ a quarter of the way along that gets lost in the gutter between the pages.
Before Nursing Times, back in 1981, I started illustrating a diary of a fictitious GP written by a real GP and published in a magazine called GP.
Health Service Journal
In 2001 I started doing a regular colour drawing for Health Service Journal. I liked these because they were illustrating the nitty-gritty of health politics