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A powerful portrait of a Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust District Nurse who has served on the frontline throughout COVID-19 has been captured by acclaimed photographer Rankin as part of a collection unveiled today to celebrate the NHS anniversary.

Anne Roberts, who is based at Bentlee Health Centre and Haywood Hospital in Stoke-on-Trent was selected to be photographed for the collection, which will be showcased at local bus stops, roadside billboards as well as iconic pedestrian areas including the world-famous Piccadilly Lights in central London this week to mark the 72nd anniversary of the NHS.  

In a mark of respect and thanks to the NHS, 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.

Throughout the pandemic, Anne 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.

British photographer, director and cultural provocateur, 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 MPFT 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.”

Fore more on the Rankin portraits, featuring all 12 staff visit www.england.nhs.uk/nhsbirthday/rankin

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