Nurses among NHS staff to feature in society photographer’s NHS tribute

Rankin’s health service portraits celebrate ‘incredible efforts’ of workforce during COVID-19 pandemic

Among those appearing on billboards are nurses Emma Kelly and Anne Roberts  Pictures: Rankin

Portraits of nurses will light up Piccadilly Circus in London and appear on bus stops and billboards to mark 72 years of the NHS on 5 July.

Taken by celebrated photographer Rankin, whose subjects have included the Queen, the Rolling Stones and Kate Moss, the portraits are part of a series on NHS staff, in tribute to their role in the national response to the pandemic.

Rankin has donated the portraits to the NHS and the advertising space is also being made available free of charge.

‘NHS staff showed courage in adversity’

The photographer said he had been moved by the 'incredible efforts' of NHS workers and wanted to document who they were and their role in fighting COVID-19.

'Taking a portrait is a unique and intimate experience, even with social distancing in place,' Rankin said.

‘I told Rankin if he didn’t make me look like Kate Moss, I’d be having words’

Anne Roberts, district nurse

‘I hope these images portray the resilience and courage they show every day in the face of real adversity.'

One nurse featured in the images is Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust district nurse Anne Roberts. 

She said: 'When I heard I’d been chosen to take part in the photo shoot I was gobsmacked. It made me giggle because I’m 53 and not much of a supermodel.

'I told Rankin, "If you don’t make me look like Kate Moss, I’ll be having words with you".'

‘We do the job because we want to care… but recognition is lovely’

Another nurse featured, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust critical care nurse Emma Kelly, said she was proud to be involved.

‘I feel like I’m just doing the job I’ve been trained to do,’ she said.

‘While all of us who work for the NHS do the job because we want to care for and support our patients, it is lovely to be recognised in this way and to be able to share our stories with the world.’

NHS England chief executive, Sir Simon Stevens, said: 'As we approach the NHS’s anniversary, these striking portraits pay tribute to all NHS staff and their extraordinary dedication.'

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