Romanian midwife becomes one of the images of the UK’s National Health Service
Romanian midwife Claudia Anghel is one of 12 healthcare workers selected to appear on the posters marking the 72nd anniversary of UK’s National Health Service (NHS). Her photo, taken by acclaimed photographer Rankin, known for his portraits of the Roling Stones and the Queen, now appears on billboards all across the UK, including the large screen in London’s Piccadilly Circus.
“When I was young growing up in Romania, I always knew that I wanted a career that made a difference. It was the advice of my dad, who is my absolute hero, that encouraged me to be a midwife – and I’m so glad it did. I still find my love for the job continues to grow each day,” says Claudia Anghel, who works as a midwife at the University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire, in an interview on the NHS website.
“My dad died suddenly last year, but I know how proud he was that I am an NHS midwife, especially when he saw how much people valued and appreciated me. When I go back to Romania or have a few days off, I really miss it and can’t wait to get back to work,” she added.
Claudia Anghel is one of about 600,000 Romanians who left the country to find a better life in the UK and who are likely to remain there (590,000 Romanians have applied for the EU Settlement Scheme to remain in the UK after Brexit). Her story is probably the story of many Romanians now living in the UK: underappreciated in her country, she left to provide a better future for her son. She endured many hardships and worked hard until she managed to be accepted and appreciated for her skills.
She left Romania in 2012, at age 38, after working for 19 years as a midwife at the municipal hospital in Calarasi. She spoke little English, but that didn’t stop her. She needed about a year to learn the language and get the midwife certification according to local regulations, a period during which she earned little money, she said in an interview with Romanian publication G4Media.ro. However, she did her job with dedication and worked as much as the regulations allowed her. She never missed a day or work without good reason.
A few years later, she is now one of the most appreciated midwives in the UK, with multiple prizes won in recent years, such as the Extra Mile Award for Outstanding Care, and a mentor for the new generation.
She continued to work with the same dedication after the COVID-19 pandemic broke. “Even during challenging times, midwifery is about life and joy. 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 mean the lipstick doesn’t last long!),” she says.
(Photo source: NHS website)