Army PPE office, Skipton House, June 2020
Oil on canvas by Peter Spens, 2020.
Personnel working in the Army's Personal Protective Equipment office in Skipton House in London, 2020.
Operation RESCRIPT, a Military Aid to the Civil Authorities operation in the United Kingdom, was initiated during the COVID-19 pandemic which began in Spring 2020.
In May 2020, Peter Spens was commissioned by the National Army Museum to paint the Army's response to the management of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the support and assistance of the Army, Spens sketched and painted in the headquarters for National Health Service (NHS) England at Skipton House in 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 2020, General Sir Nicholas Carter, Chief of the Defence Staff, 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 and Social Care] headquarters is."
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
National Army Museum Copyright
National Army Museum, Study collection