South Tyneside joins in with national round of applause on 72nd birthday of NHS

People around South Tyneside showed their appreciation for the NHS on its 72nd anniversary, by joining in with a national round of applause.

A national clap took place at 5pm on Sunday, July 5 to mark the service’s birthday. The NHS began serving the nation on July 5, 1948.

Among those joining in were the mayor and mayoress of South Tyneside, Councillor Norman Dick, and Mrs Jean Williamson, at South Shields Town Hall where the NHS flag was raised.

For the first 10 weeks of lockdown, millions applauded the NHS every Thursday at 8pm. The practice was revived for the anniversary and could become an annual event.

More than 100,000 people have been treated for Covid-19 nationally, including Boris Johnson, with many more being cared for at home.

Eight NHS Nightingale hospitals, including one next to Nissan in Sunderland, were built within weeks. They all remain on standby, and the Government's latest figures show that 44,220 people have died from coronavirus in the UK.

South Shields MP, Emma Lewell-Buck, tweeted on Sunday: “The NHS has been there for all of us. For many people, it has literally saved their life.”

The NHS flag flies above South Shields Town Hall.

Jarrow MP Kate Osborne added: “Happy 72nd birthday to the fabulous NHS that serves us so well, across the country, day in, day out.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock tweeted: “Fantastic to come together on the NHS’s 72nd birthday to once again clap for all our carers. Thank you all for everything you do.”

Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said: “It’s been the most challenging year in the history of the NHS and staff from across the health service have pulled out the stops like never before to deliver extraordinary care.

“From the domestic workers on the Covid-19 wards who have worked tirelessly to keep hospitals clean, to medical students heading the call for 111 call handlers and IT professionals working around the clock to keep services running, the NHS has mobilised to tackle this once in a lifetime global pandemic.”

Residents on Addison Road, West Boldon, suitably dressed before giving the NHS a round of applause.

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The Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Norman Dick, leads the applause.

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