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NHS 72nd Anniversary

Posted by Devon Partnership Trust in News on 3rd July, 2020

On 5 July 2020, it will be 72 years since the NHS and social care system was established. 2020 has been the most challenging year in NHS history.

The nation will be coming together at 5pm in a huge show of appreciation for everyone who has kept the UK going. It’s a moment to say one big thank you to our NHS staff, local volunteers, vital keyworkers or someone who has just been there for you.

NHS Charities Together want this to be The Biggest Thank You Ever, they have special downloadable posters, recipes and decorations on their website, find out more here.

To mark the birthday, acclaimed photographer Rankin has unveiled some powerful portraits of doctors, nurses and other NHS staff who have responded to the pandemic. Those photographed include an ICU consultant, a COVID-19 critical care nurse, a midwife, a psychiatrist, a hospital porter, a COVID-19 ward cleaner, a paramedic, a GP, a pharmacist, a district nurse, a 111 call centre worker, and a Chief Information Officer. The collection will be showcased across the country at bus stops, roadside billboards and iconic pedestrian areas including Piccadilly Lights in London.

Sir Simon Stevens, NHS Chief Executive, said: “This has been the most challenging year in the NHS’s history, with our amazing staff providing care to almost 100,000 hospitalised Covid 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’s anniversary, these striking portraits pay tribute to all NHS staff and their extraordinary dedication. On July 5th 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.”

On Saturday 4 July there will be a moment of remembrance and reflection for all the lives of those we have lost during the pandemic. This chance for the nation to come together and pay respects is being led by the Together Coalition. NHS England are asking people to place a light in their window, and buildings and landmarks will be lit up blue as part of this collective act of remembrance.

People are being encouraged to take photos and share them via social media using the hashtags #LightItBlue and #ThankYouTogether.

Look back at our NHS 70 timeline of mental health and learning disability milestones through the decades.