Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Public service oddities

Following on from my discussions of some curiosities I found in the NHS here are some more tales of public sector eccentricity.

NHS Trusts like to get creative

South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust has an online art gallery on its website. I'm not quite sure why. This is the most subversive picture I've found so far. I'm not sure whether this is your tax pound at work or whether it is funded in some other way.

If you'd like another example of NHS Trusts getting artsy look to the Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust. They have a flash intro to their website. Inspired.

The Tote used to be owned by noone

The Tote has a statutory monopoly on pool betting on horses races since it was created by a 1928 Act of Parliament. When Labour went to privatise it they found that they had to nationalise it first. Until that happened, with royal assent in 2004, it had no owner.

The Tote was a living and breathing company with employees and profits but wasn't owned by the state, society, any individual or other organisation. It gave its profits to horse racing related charities but was really its own creature.


Dave Cole said...

I believe I'm right in saying that the art at the Maudsley is done by patients and former patients.

Matthew Sinclair said...

I thought that might be the case but I figured they'd mention it more prominently if it was.

Dave Cole said...

I think the issue is that not everyone wants to admit to having spent time in a psychiatric setting.

Anonymous said...

I once met someone whose had developed a business buying art for hospitals...

Anonymous said...

Not really odd at all... exhibiting art is a good way to attract visitors to South London and Maudsley's website and it gives the artists valuable exposure for their work.