Meeting at Skipton House, London, June 2020
Pen and ink and watercolour by George Butler, 2020.
One of ten drawings recording the Army's contribution to the management of the COVID-19 pandemic as part of Operation RESCRIPT, 2020.
With the support and assistance of the Army, artists George Butler and Peter Spens were commissioned by the National Army Museum to sketch and paint in the headquarters for NHS England at Skipton House, 80 London Road, London. During the pandemic, dozens of military personnel worked at Skipton House, to support the National Health Service's response to COVID-19. Speaking at a Downing Street press conference on 22 April, General Sir Nicholas Carter said that in more than 40 years of service, 'this is the single greatest logistic challenge that I've come across.' General Carter explained, 'We've also been involved in planning - and what we call 'command and control' - providing additional resilience to hard pressed staff, and we've got dozens of people embedded both in Skipton House, but also in Victoria House where the [Department for Health & Social Care] headquarters is.'
The daily meeting at Skipton House ensured that the equipment was procured or supplied to keep hospitals open around the United Kingdom. The woman in the centre of this scene is Dr Emily Lawson (NHS), who led the meeting. The figures on the right were Army, Navy and Air Force personnel responsible for the logistics. Dr Kevin Fong, National Clinical Advisor in Emergency Preparedness Resilience and Response for the Covid-19 Incident, described those working at Skipton House as, 'a high-energy bunch of individuals working at their limits.'
NAM Accession Number
Copyright: George Butler
National Army Museum, Study collection