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Frontline Stoke-on-Trent nurse features in Rankin’s portrait series to mark NHS 72nd anniversary

Photo: Rankin

A portrait of a Stoke-on-Trent District Nurse who has served on the frontline throughout COVID-19 has been captured by acclaimed photographer Rankin.

The renowned photographer, who has previously shot the Rolling Stones, 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.

He has revealed the collection ahead of the 72nd anniversary of the NHS. 

Anne Roberts, who is based at Bentilee Health Centre and Haywood Hospital, was selected to be photographed for the collection, which will be showcased at local bus stops, and roadside billboards.

She was nominated by her colleagues, who say throughout the pandemic she has not only been an excellent and caring District Nurse, but has worked hard to support her colleagues and raise their morale, organising local school children to share pictures and messages, and coordinating a mass sing along to 'The Greatest Showman'.

She also demonstrated her commitment to her patients and their families, even going so far as to help foster a pet dog to allow a couple needing hospital treatment to be admitted without worrying about their precious pet.

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.” 

Anne 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 ‘f you don’t make me look like Kate Moss, I’ll be having words with you’.” 

Neil Carr, Chief Executive of Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, 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, 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.”

Sir Simon Stevens, NHS Chief Executive, said:  “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.”

A cleaner at Crewe's Leighton Hospital, Laura Arrowsmith, has also been photographed for the collection. Read her story here.

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