Margaret pens odes to the NHS - The Evesham Observer

Margaret pens odes to the NHS

Evesham Editorial 11th Apr, 2020   0

POEMS written by a University of Worcester graduate and former nurse are featured in a newly-released anthology celebrating the work of the NHS.

These Are The Hands is a compilation of poems written by current or former NHS workers, and was originally written to raise funds for the NHS. It is now raising money for NHS Charities Together’s urgent Covid-19 appeal. The anthology is supported by former Children’s Laureate, Michael Rosen, who has written the foreword and the titular poem.

It features two poems written by Margaret Adkins, a former nurse of 36 years, who graduated from the University of Worcester with a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing in 2018.

Margaret, 60, from Malvern, said: “I’m incredibly pleased to be part of it, but what’s nice is not being an individual voice, but one of many. For me the biggest part of being in the NHS was always colleagues. It’s a job that you can’t do on your own; it’s very much a team. The poetry reflects that. There are so many diverse experiences and it’s that feeling of being a part of something much bigger than you. We share the highs and lows and now we’re sharing that with the public.”




Margaret’s two poems, First Last Offices and Your Quarrel, were chosen from around 600 pieces. First Last Offices recalls Margaret’s first experience as a student nurse of preparing the body of someone who has died. The second poem, Your Quarrel, reflects on her time working in a GP practice, and “the struggle with fitting in gold standard care when you’ve got limited time to do it in”.

The anthology has been co-edited by former University of Worcester humanities lecturer Deborah Alma and is available from most online bookshop outlets and from publisher Fair Acre Press.


Margaret worked as a nurse for 36 years, 27 of those in the NHS. She first trained as a nurse then moved into midwifery, working in the community in Birmingham and later Malvern.

She went on to work as a GP practice nurse and then as a sexual health nurse for the Brook Centre in Birmingham.

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