It was 5pm on Sunday, July 5 when – up and down the country – people took a moment to clap for our health service on its milestone birthday.
The NHS began serving the nation on July 5, 1948.
For the first 10 weeks of coronavirus lockdown, millions of people showed their gratitude by applauding the NHS every Thursday at 8pm.
The practice was revived for Sunday’s anniversary – and could now become an annual event on July 5.
More than 100,000 people have been treated for Covid-19 nationally, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson – who applauded outside Downing Street with Clap for Carers founder Annemarie Plas on Sunday – with many more being cared for at home.
Eight NHS Nightingale hospitals, including one next to Nissan in Sunderland, were built within weeks.
All of them remain on standby, and the Government's latest figures show that 44,220 people have died from coronavirus in the UK.
Tributes were paid to the NHS from all corners of the nation on Sunday.
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, added in tribute: “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.”