Celebrating 72 years of the NHS


On 5 July 2020, it was 72 years since the NHS and social care system was established.

2020 has been the most challenging year in NHS history. This year, the birthday is an opportunity to recognise, reflectand remember. To recognise the skills, commitment, achievements, compassion and diversity of all our 1.9 million people, across more than 350 different professions.

Over the last few months NHS staff have worked around the clock to tackle coronavirus – caring for the 100,000 patients with COVID-19 who needed specialist hospital treatment and treating countless others besides, redesigning services and creating backup Nightingale hospitals.

None of this would have been possible without the help and support of countless individuals and organisations around the country.

Everyone across the NHS is hugely grateful to the thousands of former doctors, nurses and other health service staff who came out of retirement to battle coronavirus, the fellow key workers – from bus drivers and refuse collectors to social care staff and teachers – who kept the country running  and, of course, all those who stopped the spread of the virus by following the expert advice and staying home to save lives.

Everyone has had a part to play and, in the most difficult days, frontline workers were sustained by the support of the public.

On Sunday 5 July the NHS invited everyone to come together at 5pm to come together and applaud the commitment, courage and sacrifice shown by so many. #ThankYouTogether.

Saturday 4 July, the day before the birthday, was 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 our respects is being led by the Together Coalition. We are asking people to place a light in their window, and buildings and landmarks were lit up as part of this collective act of remembrance.

Lockdown has been a tremendously challenging time for everyone, but at the same time we have seen countless examples of people doing their best and achieving amazing things – fundraising, volunteering, returning to NHS careers, helping out neighbours, being more active, and a greater willingness to talk about and address mental health issues.

They are asking people to carry on supporting the NHS and social care by continuing or embracing one or more of these positive changes to Live wellWork well and Care well. Be proud of what you are doing and share your story, or commitment, to inspire and motivate others.

Read this article in full on the NHS website.


Share your story to help services better

You care about the NHS and social care services, and so do we. We are here to listen to and act on your feedback to help services improve care for you and others. As health and social care services work to provide the best possible care during COVID-19, public feedback can play a crucial role in helping us to help services identify and act on issues that affect the quality of people’s care. Share your feedback about a service in Devon and help improve care for yourself and others today.

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