London GP among staff photographed to mark 72 years of the NHS

A London GP is among NHS staff working through the COVID-19 pandemic photographed by the artist Rankin to mark 72 years since the health service was founded.

Dr Farzana Hussain (Photo: Rankin)
Dr Farzana Hussain (Photo: Rankin)

Dr Farzana Hussain, GP partner at the Project Surgery in Newham, is one of 12 NHS workers photographed by Rankin, who has previously taken portraits of the Rolling Stones and the Queen.

The participants, who include a COVID-19 critical care nurse, a paramedic and a pharmacist, have all played a vital role in managing the response to the crisis and supporting people impacted by the disease.

Celebrating NHS workers

All staff were photographed without their personal protective equipment (PPE) to reveal the people they are behind the mask.

The series of portraits will be showcased across the country at bus stops, roadside billboards and high-profile locations across the country.

Dr Hussain said: ‘It’s difficult to put into words how privileged I feel to be able to go to work every day and make a difference to people’s lives and to help battle this global pandemic.

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

Pandemic stories

The NHS workers have also shared their own personal stories from the frontline, providing a unique insight into the lives of the people working through the pandemic.

Rankin said he was moved by the ‘incredible efforts’ of people across the NHS and wanted to document workers’ role in fighting the disease.

He said: ‘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.

NHS chief executive Simon Stevens, said: ‘This has been the most challenging year in the NHS’s history, with our amazing staff providing care to almost 100,000 hospitalised COVID patients, and many more in the community.

‘Nurses, doctors, physios, pharmacists, cleaners and countless others have pulled together, bolstered by thousands of former NHS staff who came back to help, alongside a new generation of students who stepped up. As we approach the NHS’s anniversary, these striking portraits pay tribute to all NHS staff and their extraordinary dedication.’

The full selection of portraits and their stories can be found here: www.england.nhs.uk/rankin 

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