July 5th 2021 will mark the 72nd anniversary of the NHS, and the date has also been set to launch a nationwide clap to thank the NHS, in what organisers hope will become an annual tradition.
UK residents will be encouraged to show their appreciation for the NHS heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic at 5pm BST on Sunday 5th July. It is hoped that many broadcasters will also support the initiative by breaking away from regular programming to mark the occasion.
The UK-wide applause is due to take place the day after the public will be asked to put a light in their windows to remember all those who lost their lives during the pandemic.
It’s reported that many national landmarks and public buildings including the Royal Albert Hall, Blackpool Tower, the Shard and the Wembley Arch, will be lit up in blue to commemorate the moment.
The ‘Clap for Carers’ initiative started on March 25th and was a weekly event, which ended after 10 consecutive weeks.
NHS England chief executive, Sir Simon Stevens, has welcomed the call for an annual applause saying that he hoped the public would use the July anniversary as an opportunity to “say a heartfelt thank you” to hospital staff.
“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,” Sir Simon continued. “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.”
The annual nationwide clap has been organised following an open letter from the Together coalition, which was signed by influential figures including Sir Simon, sports presenter Gary Lineker and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.