On Saturday 4 July, the day before the birthday of the NHS, there will be a moment of remembrance and reflection for those we have lost during the pandemic. This is a chance for the nation to come together and pay our respects. It is being led by the Together Coalition and we are asking people to place a light in their window or on their doorstep.

On Sunday 5 July, the day the NHS was founded, the whole country is invited to come together at 5pm to applaud all those who have been helping us through the pandemic and recognise the vital community connections that continue to support us all.

Broadcasters will suspend normal transmissions at 5pm.

Everybody will be encouraged to stop what they’re doing and join with others (following social distancing advice of course) in their streets or neighbourhoods to applaud not just the NHS and other key workers but all those who have volunteered or helped keep services and community networks going.

Following the applause, we hope people will enjoy a drink or a cup of tea and reflect with family, friends and neighbours on the bonds that have sustained us in recent months and will continue to do so.

A Prayer for the NHS on its Birthday

God of healing and compassion,
we thank you for the National Health Service,
and for the dedication and selflessness of all who work in it:
give skill, sympathy and resilience to all who care for the sick,
and your wisdom to those engaged in medical research.
By the power of your Holy Spirit,
strengthen all NHS staff in their vocation,
that through their work many people may be restored to health;
in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Revd Canon Andrew Piper


To find out how you can get involved with commemorating the birthday of the NHS and social care this weekend, please visit: www.england.nhs.uk/nhsbirthday/get-involved/