29 June 2020

Celebrity photographer John Rankin took portraits of 12 people whose jobs have been critical in the coronavirus crisis to mark 72 years of the NHS.

Pharmacist Ade Williams, from Bristol, said after "facing a common fear" it was time to "build a better future".

Rankin said he wanted to "document their role in fighting this disease".

He took the photographs from a safe distance behind a plastic sheet.

Ade Williams, who works at Bedminster Pharmacy in Bristol, moved to the UK from Nigeria 23 years ago as a teenager and said he was "utterly awestruck at how the NHS functioned".

He said: "In our team, working alongside my wife, also a pharmacist, we all share the belief that health inequality is a form of injustice.

"Our goal every day is to help address this - which means there is never a dull moment. That is what gets me up in the morning."

Stuart BrookfieldImage copyrightRANKIN
Image captionStuart Brookfield became a fully qualified paramedic in April this year

Paramedic Stuart Brookfield, from South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, said he had "always wanted to help the community".

He said: "The Covid-19 pandemic has been a tough time for any new paramedic. We are making decisions that are very hard for us on the road.

"It has been mentally draining, but I've never felt that I didn't want to go in the next day.

"The respect too that we've received from the community during the pandemic has been amazing and so good for staff morale."

Claudia AnghelImage copyrightRANKIN
Image captionClaudia Anghel said: "When I was young growing up in Romania, I always knew that I wanted a career that made a difference"

Midwife Claudia Anghel from University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire said "even during challenging times, midwifery is about life and joy".

"Since the pandemic, we've had to isolate certain areas and set-up a coronavirus labour ward for patients who may be infected.

"Expectant mothers can now only have their partner with them for the delivery, so the emotional support we give has become even more important.

"Of course, we are concerned, but we are also strong. I still get up in the morning, put on my uniform and a bit of lipstick and go to work - although these days the masks we wear means the lipstick doesn't last long."

Ali AbdiImage copyrightRANKIN
Image captionAli Abdi said "even at weekends in the back of my head I’m always thinking ‘when can I get back to work and help the team?’"

Porter Ali Abdi who works at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust said "even though I work 12-hour shifts the day goes so fast".

"I honestly couldn't tell you how many miles I must have walked around my hospital helping patients.

"As a porter, it's my job to make sure the right people get to the right place at the right time."

Laura ArrowsmithImage copyrightRANKIN
Image captionCovid-19 ward cleaner Laura Arrowsmith said she could be "a friendly face for patients staying in the hospital" as part of her job

Covid-19 ward cleaner Laura Arrowsmith from Leighton Hospital, Crewe, said she has "always liked to talk to patients and find out more about them".

"In this situation we can't allow as many visitors and not everyone has the technology to keep in touch with loved ones, so I try to help by bringing patients a little piece of the outside world.

"I've been cycling a lot during the pandemic, so I get out on my bike and whizz around to pick things up for patients - even if it's just a picture to have by their bed."

Anne RobertsImage copyrightRANKIN
Image captionAnne Roberts said: "I’m not a hero. I’m a nurse just trying to do the best I can"

District nurse Anne Roberts from the Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said she thought "being a nurse is ingrained in you".

"As we can't go out right now, I go around to my parents' bungalow and Mum puts a cup of coffee in the middle of the driveway.

"I try and look after my colleagues too and help them feel positive and valued, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic."