Clap for NHS returns on July 5 to mark Health Service's 72nd birthday

Nationwide ‘Clap for the NHS’ to RETURN a week on Sunday to mark Health Service’s 72nd birthday in what is hoped will become an annual tradition

  • Tribute at 5pm on July 5 follows success of weekly Clap for Carers during Covid 
  • Broadcasters will also suspend transmissions for a moment as a mark of respect
  • On July 4, people will also be asked to put a light in their windows in honour of those lost to the pandemic; death toll in Britain has now topped 43,000
  • Public buildings will also be lit up in blue for NHS including Royal Albert Hall, Blackpool Tower, the Shard and Wembley Arch
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

A nationwide clap to thank the NHS will take place a week on Sunday, which is hoped to become an annual tradition.

Following the success of the weekly Clap for Carers, people will be encouraged to reflect on the heroes of the coronavirus pandemic with family and friends at 5pm on July 5 – the 72nd anniversary of the NHS.

Broadcasters will also suspend transmissions for a moment as a mark of respect.

On July 4, the evening before, people will be asked to put a light in their windows in remembrance of those lost to Covid-19.

Public buildings will also be lit up in blue for the NHS including the Royal Albert Hall, Blackpool Tower, the Shard and the Wembley Arch. 

A nationwide clap to thank the NHS will take place next Sunday, which is hoped to become an annual tradition. Following the success of the weekly Clap for Carers (above, outside the Chelsea & Westminster hospital in May), people will be encouraged to reflect on the heroes of the pandemic with family and friends at 5pm on July 5 – the 72nd anniversary of the NHS

NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens (pictured) said he hopes the public will use the anniversary as an opportunity to ‘say a heartfelt thank you’ to hospital staff

On July 4, the evening before, people will also be asked to put a light in their windows in remembrance of those lost to the pandemic. Public buildings will also be lit up in blue for the NHS including the Royal Albert Hall (above), the Shard and the Wembley Arch

Blackpool Tower (above) is also among the public buildings which will be lit blue as a mark of respect for the NHS

Britain today announced 154 more Covid-19 deaths and just 653 coronavirus cases, in the lowest daily jump for more than three months as the outbreak continues to fizzle out.

Department of Health figures show the overall number of victims has now topped 43,000 — but other grim data taking into account all suspected deaths reveals the actual tally is at least 53,000.

Just 184 laboratory-confirmed deaths were recorded last Wednesday, meaning the daily toll has dropped 16 per cent in the space of a week. Only 171 fatalities were registered yesterday.

During the peak of Britain’s Covid-19 outbreak in April, more than 1,000 deaths were recorded on nine separate days. But the number of victims has been consistently dropping for eight weeks.

NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said he hopes the public will use the anniversary as an opportunity to ‘say a heartfelt thank you’ to hospital staff.

Sir Simon said: ‘This year has been the most challenging in NHS history, with staff displaying extraordinary dedication, skill and compassion to care for the 100,000 patients with Covid-19 who needed specialist hospital treatment and many others besides.

‘During this testing time, our nurses, doctors, physios, pharmacists and countless more colleagues were sustained by the support of the public, not least through the weekly applause for key workers.

‘No health service, not even the NHS, could have coped alone with this coronavirus pandemic.

‘From bus drivers and teachers to care staff and food retailers and, of course, the public who took action to stay at home to stop infection spreading, everyone played their part.’ 

It comes as Britain today announced 154 more Covid-19 deaths and just 653 coronavirus cases, in the lowest daily jump for more than three months as the outbreak continues to fizzle out.

Department of Health figures show the overall number of victims has now topped 43,000 — but other grim data taking into account all suspected deaths reveals the actual tally is at least 53,000.

Just 184 laboratory-confirmed deaths were recorded last Wednesday, meaning the daily toll has dropped 16 per cent in the space of a week. Only 171 fatalities were registered yesterday.

During the peak of Britain’s Covid-19 outbreak in April, more than 1,000 deaths were recorded on nine separate days. 

But the number of victims has been consistently dropping for eight weeks.

Government figures also show the 653 new cases is the fewest recorded since three days before lockdown was imposed — just 643 people tested positive for the disease on March 19.

More than 6,000 people were being diagnosed each day across the UK during the darkest days of the crisis but only a fraction of infected people were being tested because of a lacklustre testing scheme.

Broadcasters will also suspend transmissions for a moment as a mark of respect on July 5. (Above, NHS staff take part in the weekly ‘Clap for Carers’ event at Aintree University Hospital, in Liverpool on May 28)

Chief executive for NHS Wales Dr Andrew Goodall said Clap for Carers was ‘very much embraced’ in Wales and he is ‘delighted’ to support the clap on July 5. (Pictured, residents in Wattsville, Gwent, applaud hospital staff on May 7)

Chief executive for NHS Wales Dr Andrew Goodall said Clap for Carers was ‘very much embraced’ in Wales and he is ‘delighted’ to support the clap on July 5.

‘I know communities across Wales will want to pay tribute and thank everyone who has played their part in supporting our nation through this pandemic,’ he said.

The nationwide clap has been organised following a letter from the Together coalition, in which influential figures including Sir Simon and the Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Rev Justin Welby voiced their support for making July 5 an official day of commemoration.

Free at the point of delivery: The birth of the National Health Service

The National Health Service was founded by health minister Aneurin Bevan (pictured) on July 5, 1948

The National Health Service was founded by health minister Aneurin Bevan on July 5, 1948.

It was created with the idea that good healthcare should be available for everyone.

The three core principles were:

1. That it meet the needs of everyone

2. That it be free at the point of delivery

3. That it be based on clinical need, not ability to pay

The NHS is one of the world’s largest employers, with more than 1.5 million staff.

Among its many milestone moments:

  • When 13-year-old Sylvia Diggery (nee Beckingham) was admitted to a Manchester hospital with a liver condition in 1948, she became the first patient to be treated by the NHS.  
  • The Mental Health Act was introduced in 1959, making new provision for the care and treatment of people with mental health problems. 
  • The first heart transplant in the UK took place on May 3, 1968 at the National Heart Hospital in Marylebone, London. 
  • In 1991, the first wave of new NHS trusts are established.
  • In 1998, NHS Direct is launched – becoming one of the largest single e-health services in the world, handling more than half a million calls each month. 
  • And in 2000, NHS Walk In Centres are introduced offering convenient access to a range of NHS services. 

Nurses representing each decade of the NHS – from the 1940s to the 2010s – pose in Trafford Hospital, Greater Manchester, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the NHS in 2018

Aneurin Bevan meets a patient at Papworth Village Hospital. This centre for tubercular cases was taken over by the National Health Service in 1948

A group of nurses kneel to pray before the start of a day’s work in the women’s medical ward in Leeds in 1956

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