Rankin Captures NHS Heroes In Series Of Stunning Portraits

The powerful photos of doctors, nurses, porters and other staff have been unveiled to celebrate the 72nd anniversary of the NHS.
Rankin

We’re here to guide you through the coronavirus pandemic. Sign up to the Life newsletter for daily tips, advice, how-tos and escapism.

He’s best known for capturing iconic images of the Rolling Stones, Kate Moss and the Queen, but now acclaimed photographer Rankin has turned his attention to NHS heroes who have worked throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

The powerful and personal portraits of doctors, nurses, porters and other NHS staff have been unveiled to celebrate the 72nd anniversary of the NHS.

Rankin’s series of 12 images will be showcased across the country at bus stops, roadside billboards and pedestrian areas including the Piccadilly Lights in central London this week.

Emma Kelly, a critical care nurse at the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, was surprised to be invited to take part in the project.

“At first, I thought it must be the wrong Emma as I feel like I’m just doing the job I’ve been trained to do,” she says. “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.”

Emma Kelly, Critical Care Nurse, Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Rankin
Emma Kelly, Critical Care Nurse, Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Kelly says she recently had the hardest day of her career so far due to Covid-19.

“One of my patients deteriorated rapidly and a decision was made to switch to end of life care,” she says. “The patient was a Covid-19 case, which meant family visits were restricted. Sitting there holding her hand and relaying messages from her family is something that will stay with me forever.”

Dr Farzana Hussain, a GP at Project Surgery, Newham, says she feels “privileged” to have been able to go to work every day and make a difference to people’s lives during the pandemic.

“Now more than ever, it’s important that we see the humanity that makes up our GP practices, community services and hospitals,” she says. “Every member of staff has their own story, fears and hopes for the future. I think Rankin’s photography brings this out really well.”

Farzana Hussain, GP, Project Surgery, Newham, London
Rankin
Farzana Hussain, GP, Project Surgery, Newham, London

Those photographed include an ICU consultant, a Covid-19 critical care nurse, a midwife, a psychiatrist, a hospital porter, a Covid-19 ward cleaner, a paramedic, a GP, a pharmacist, a district nurse, a 111 call centre worker, and a chief information officer.

All have played a vital role in managing the response to coronavirus and supporting people impacted by the disease.

Like many of us across the UK, Rankin says he was moved by the “incredible efforts” of those working for the NHS when the pandemic began to unfold.

“Taking a portrait is a unique and intimate experience, even with social distancing in place,” he says. “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.”

See the full collection below.

Marc Lyons, ICU Consultant, East Cheshire NHS Trust
Rankin
Marc Lyons, ICU Consultant, East Cheshire NHS Trust
Sarah Jensen, Chief Information Officer, Barts Health NHS Trust
Rankin
Sarah Jensen, Chief Information Officer, Barts Health NHS Trust
Laura Arrowsmith, Cleaner, Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Rankin
Laura Arrowsmith, Cleaner, Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Stuart Brookfield, Paramedic, South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
Rankin
Stuart Brookfield, Paramedic, South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
Roopak Khara, General Adult Psychiatrist, West London NHS Trust
Rankin
Roopak Khara, General Adult Psychiatrist, West London NHS Trust
Ali Abdi, Porter, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust
Rankin
Ali Abdi, Porter, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust
Claudia Anghel, Midwife, University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire
Rankin
Claudia Anghel, Midwife, University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire
Jack Hannay Manikum, 111 call handler, West Midlands Ambulance Service
Rankin
Jack Hannay Manikum, 111 call handler, West Midlands Ambulance Service
Anne Roberts, District Nurse, Midlands Partnership Foundation Trust
Rankin
Anne Roberts, District Nurse, Midlands Partnership Foundation Trust
Ade Williams, Superintendent Pharmacist, Bedminster Pharmacy, Bristol
Rankin
Ade Williams, Superintendent Pharmacist, Bedminster Pharmacy, Bristol