NHS England has released a statement about its 72nd anniversary: This year has been the most challenging in NHS history with staff working around the clock to tackle coronavirus – caring for the 100,000 patients with Covid-19 who needed specialist hospital treatment and treating countless others besides, redesigning services and creating backup Nightingale hospitals.
None of this would have been possible without the help and support of countless individuals and organisations around the country.
Everyone across the NHS is hugely grateful to the thousands of former doctors, nurses and other health service staff who came out of retirement to battle coronavirus, the fellow key workers – from bus drivers and refuse collectors to social care staff and teachers – who kept the country running and, of course, all those who stopped the spread of the virus by following the expert advice and staying home to save lives.
On 5 July, the day the NHS was founded, the whole country is invited to come together again, at 5pm, and applaud the commitment, courage and sacrifice shown by so many.
On the eve of the birthday, 4 July, iconic landmarks including the Royal Albert Hall, Blackpool Tower and Wembley Arch will be illuminated in blue as part of tributes to NHS staff.
You may already have seen a powerful portrait series by acclaimed photographer Rankin dedicated to frontline staff to mark the NHS birthday.
In a mark of respect and thanks to the NHS, Rankin, who has previously shot the Rolling Stones, Kate Moss and the Queen, offered to take portraits of 12 people playing a vital role in the NHS response to COVID-19.
The collection is being showcased across the country this week at bus stops, roadside billboards and iconic pedestrian areas including the world-famous Piccadilly Lights in central London. Here is one of the images by Rankin: Dr Farzana Hussain, GP, Project Surgery, Newham, London.
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