NHS staff across west Wales have been honoured by a special piece of artwork created by one of Wales’ top artists.

Former Britain’s Got Talent star Nathan Wyburn created a piece of art called A Dose of Art which honours the healthcare staff and volunteers who worked across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire during the covid-19 pandemic and celebrates the success of the vaccination programme.

The piece of art portrays two smiling NHS staff without their personal protective equipment (PPE) and conveys a message of hope, freedom, community, light and life that the mass vaccination programme brough to people across the Hywel Dda University Health Board area.

It was made from thousands of plastic lids that were collected from vaccination vials across all of the health board’s mass vaccination centres, with each lid symbolising the delivery of six, eight, 10 or 20 vaccines.

Nathan Wyburn – who rose to fame on Britain’s Got Talent with his artwork from a range of unusual materials and has created numerous pieces of art for Welsh health boards as well as a sculpture to mark the anniversary of the Aberfan disaster – was chosen to do the work through an online vote by Hywel Dda staff and volunteers. He said: “It’s an honour to have been chosen by Hywel Dda staff to create this artwork and I hope people working in the health board, those who worked so hard throughout the pandemic can see themselves in these portraits.

“It’s all about the people and I’m really proud of this work. I can’t wait for this to tour across the health board over the next year.”

Mandy Rayani, Hywel Dda’s director of nursing, quality and patient experience, said: “It is wonderful to be able to unveil this artwork today as a tangible reminder of the incredible efforts of all healthcare staff and volunteers involved with the pandemic response and the mass vaccination programme.

“Three years ago today, in Glangwili Hospital, the first covid-19 vaccines within Hywel Dda UHB were administered to patient facing staff, making them among the first in the world to receive a covid-19 vaccination.

“The arrival of the vaccine was a world changing event which gave us hope at the end of 2020 and it continues to be as important today, providing protection to the most vulnerable members of our community.”

The artwork was officially unveiled on Friday, December 8, at Llanelli’s Prince Philip Hospital to coincide with the third anniversary of the first covid-19 vaccine being given by the health board. It was marked through song, with Olwen Morgan – head of nursing at Glangwili Hospital – performing The Rose.

A Dose of Art was made possible through funding from Hywel Dda Health Charities, the official charity of Hywel Dda University Health Board. It will be on display at Prince Philip Hospital before touring across the Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire health board sites in 2024.