A district nurse from Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is to feature in a series of portraits taken by acclaimed photographer Rankin as a thank you to health service staff for their efforts during the Covid-19 crisis.
Anne Roberts, who is based at Bentlee Health Centre and Haywood Hospital in Stoke-on-Trent, was selected to be photographed for the collection unveiled today to celebrate the NHS anniversary.
“When I heard I’d been chosen to take part I was gobsmacked. It made me giggle because I’m 53 and not much of a supermodel”
The pictures will be showcased at bus stops and roadside billboards, as well as iconic pedestrian areas like the Piccadilly lights in central London this week to mark the 72nd anniversary of the NHS.
The photographer, who has previously shot Kate Moss and the Queen, offered to take portraits of 12 people across the country playing a vital role in the NHS response to Covid-19.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Ms Roberts “has not only been an excellent and caring district nurse but has worked hard to support her colleagues and raise their morale”, said her trust.
For example, it highlighted that she had organised local school children to share pictures and messages, and co-ordinated a mass sing along to The Greatest Showman.
She also demonstrated her commitment to her patients and their families, going so far as to help foster a pet dog to allow a couple needing hospital treatment to be admitted without worrying.
“I hope these images portray the resilience and courage they show every day in the face of real adversity”
Ms Roberts 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’,” she added.
Rankin said: “As the coronavirus pandemic began to unfold, I was moved by the incredible efforts of people across the NHS and I wanted to document who they are and their role in fighting this disease.
“Taking a portrait is a unique and intimate experience, even with social distancing in place. Everyone had their own inspiring story, which to them was just doing their job.
“I hope these images portray the resilience and courage they show every day in the face of real adversity,” he added.
Trust chief executive Neil Carr said: “We put Anne forward for this recognition, as she has truly gone the extra mile during the coronavirus pandemic and really epitomises the care and commitment of our NHS nurses.”
Siobhan Heafield, chief nurse for the Midlands region, said: “Our district nurses have been at the front line of dealing with Coronavirus in the community and I am delighted Anne was chosen to represent her profession and celebrate the fantastic work they do.”
NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens added: “As we approach the NHS’s anniversary, these striking portraits pay tribute to all NHS staff and their extraordinary dedication.
“On July 5th we also want to say thank you to those from all walks of life who have played their part in helping the NHS and our communities deal with this unprecedented health emergency.”