The first memorial in Scotland dedicated to healthcare staff who worked tirelessly during the pandemic has been unveiled.
The four bronze statues at the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh were created by a local artist who consulted with NHS staff to understand their stories.
Kenny Hunter from Musselburgh took inspiration from surgeons Anna Paisley, Clare McNaught and Nirmal Kumar.
The memorial in the courtyard depicts a moment of respite for the staff as they battled through the difficult times of Covid.
Professor Kumar said: “Walking past it still brings back memories and you don’t have to do it everyday to still bring back that.
“And it’s really powerful these images that are represented here. Just brings such deep emotion and I’m almost speechless in saying that.”
The pieces sit in the courtyard of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons as a reminder of the sacrifice of all healthcare workers who strived to protect the public.
Professor Michael Griffin, President RCSEd said: “It was a distressing time for everyone and what these wonderful images depict is the frustration, the exhaustion, the desolation that our healthcare workers were feeling at the end of a shift.
“Not just in surgery but in intensive care, on Covid wards and you can see on their faces the imprints of their masks.”
Remembering the inequality of the pandemic was equally important to the staff who spoke with the artist.
Colorectal surgeon Dr Clare McNaught said: “Particularly my colleagues from ethnic backgrounds who remember initially were unfairly hit by this pandemic; their mortality rate was very much higher.
“And so I think looking back making sure that we have this memorial to remind people that people did take risks with their own lives and did that willingly.”