A BANKSY painting gifted to Southampton's biggest hospital during the first wave of the pandemic has sold for more than £16 million. 

The painting, depicting a child playing with a nurse superhero doll, was sold at Christie's today  in the 20th Century Art Evening Sale.

The painting, titled Game Changer, was sold for £16,758,000 and all proceed from the sale will be used to support health organisations and charities across the UK that enhance the care and treatment provided by the NHS.

Daily Echo:

Christie’s will donate a significant portion of the Buyer’s Premium to these causes. 

On May 6 last year, the painting by Banksy was gifted to University Hospital Southampton during the first wave of the global coronavirus pandemic. 

When first unveiled, the picture was accompanied by a note: "Thanks for all you’re doing. I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if it’s only black and white."

Banksy’s gift to the hospital was always intended to be sold.

Through Southampton Hospitals Charity, proceeds from the sale will be used to fund wellbeing projects for staff and patients, and distributed to a wider community of healthcare providers both within the NHS and charitable sectors.

David French, Interim Chief Executive Officer at University Hospital Southampton: “This incredible gift will be invaluable in helping us to focus on promoting and protecting the welfare of our staff as they heal and recover from the last year.

"As a charitable gift it ensures our staff have a say in how money is spent to benefit them, our patients and our community and is a fantastic way to thank and reward them for the sacrifices they’ve made.

"The Trust is part of a much wider community of healthcare providers both within the NHS and charitable sectors and it’s required a collective effort to manage and support the most vulnerable and unwell within our community over the last year.

"The lessons we’ve learnt throughout the pandemic will no doubt see a fundamental shift to more collaborative ways of working into the future and we’re delighted that proceeds from the auction of Game Changer will also go to benefit the work of our wider partners and help us all to deliver a more integrated and improved care system for patients.”