South Central Ambulance worker part of Rankin photoshoot to mark NHS birthday

AN AMBULANCE worker who was inspired to join the profession after seeing a paramedic treat his dad is part of a frontline staff photoshoot to mark the 72nd birthday of the NHS.

Wednesday, 1st July 2020, 8:33 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st July 2020, 1:34 pm
South Central Ambulance Worker, Stuart Brookfield. Portrait by Rankin

South Central Ambulance Service worker Stuart Brookfield was one of 12 portraits taken by renowned photographer Rankin, who wanted to dedicate a shoot to those involved in the NHS response to Covid-19, including an ICU consultant, a hospital and a 111 call centre worker, ahead of the 72nd birthday of the NHS on Sunday (July 5).

Stuart said: ‘I was overwhelmed when I was nominated for this. I feel privileged to work for the NHS and to represent my colleagues who are going through a tough time on the road.’

Stuart, who is based in Bracknell, wanted to join the profession after he saw the way his dad, who died from oesophageal cancer in 2008, was treated by a paramedic and he qualified in April this year.

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He said: ‘Every time I’m called out to a patient who has cancer, I remember the paramedic who treated my dad and I try to treat them as well as he treated my dad that day.

‘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.

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‘I am lucky to be part of the trust’s team at this time – there is always someone to support us at the end of the phone. I love my job to be honest and I couldn’t do anything else.’

The collection of photos will be showcased across the country at bus stops and billboards.

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.’

Sir Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, added: ‘This has been the most challenging year in the NHS’ history, with our amazing staff providing care to almost 100,000 hospitalised Covid-19 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 anniversary, these striking portraits pay tribute to all NHS staff and their extraordinary dedication. On July 5 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.’

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