People across the country have thanked the NHS during one of its most challenging years since the service was established on July 5, 1948.
Applause was planned for 5pm on Sunday to celebrate those who have helped get the country through the pandemic, from NHS staff to care workers.
Broadcasters will suspend normal transmissions and people are encouraged to stop what they are doing and join in with their streets or neighbourhoods to applaud key workers across the country.
Sir Simon Stevens, NHS Chief Executive, said: "This year has been the most challenging in NHS history, with staff displaying extraordinary dedication, skill and compassion to care for the 100,000 patients with Covid-19 who needed specialist hospital treatment and many others besides.
"During this testing time our nurses, doctors, physios, pharmacists and countless more colleagues were sustained by the support of the public, not least through the weekly applause for key workers. No health service, not even the NHS, could have coped alone with this coronavirus pandemic.
"From bus drivers and teachers to care staff and food retailers and, of course, the public who took action to stay at home to stop infection spreading, everyone played their part.
"The NHS’s birthday this year not only offers the opportunity for us to say thank you to the nation, but for us all to come together at 5pm to pause and recognise all the work which has taken place in the last months and say a heartfelt thank you."
The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital near Oswestry shared a special video on social media
Staff from the specialist hospital shared their love for working for the NHS and thanked fellow colleagues for their hard work during these tough times.
WATCH the video here:
The Government’s latest figures showed that 44,131 people have died after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK as of 5pm on Thursday, and a candlelit vigil was also held on Saturday night to remember them.
West Mercia Police also tweeted their thanks for their fellow key workers as they celebrated the 72nd birthday of the NHS.
Today marks the 72nd birthday of the @NHSUK 🎉🎂— West Mercia Police (@WMerciaPolice) July 5, 2020
A massive thank you from us to all of our colleagues in the NHS who have been doing an outstanding job during what has been a very challenging year #recognise #reflect #remember pic.twitter.com/nPVK2LYI5h
The force said: "A massive thank you from us to all of our colleagues in the NHS who have been doing an outstanding job during what has been a very challenging year."
As part of the celebrations, buildings across the country were lit up blue yesterday to commemorate the occasion.
Iconic landmarks including the London Eye, Royal Albert Hall, Blackpool Tower and Wembley Arch were illuminated in blue, as well as Birmingham Library and the NEC, and Wolverhampton's Grand Theatre.
Shrewsbury also marked the occasion in its own special way with a video showing giant projections of clapping hands on the Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, the Market Hall and St Mary’s Church.
It’s all part of the #iClapFor project, started by textile artist, Ian Berry, who first projected an animation of his hands clapping onto a building in London.
Since then it has been used in towns and cities across the UK and world, being projected on the White Cliffs of Dover, Brooklyn Bridge in New York, the Angel of the North, Los Angeles, Colombia and Sao Paulo.
It has now come to Shrewsbury, with the help of projectionist, Andy McKeown. The project is being coordinated by Shrewsbury BID, with the video being posted across the Original Shrewsbury social media platforms.
Today we're celebrating the 72nd birthday of the National Health Service.— Shrewsbury's Open (@OriginalShrews) July 5, 2020
British artist Ian Berry's 'Clapping Hands' animation has been projected onto Shrewsbury's buildings and landmarks to show our appreciation for the NHS and its workers (1/3) pic.twitter.com/ymkQM6PldC
Today is the 72nd birthday of the NHS and @ShrewsburyBID worked with local projectionist Andy McKeown @android9 to bring a national art projection campaign to Shrewsbury to celebrate. These photographs were taken by Hamish McKeown pic.twitter.com/QIQfcMEzcy— Shrewsbury Library (@ShrewslibraryUK) July 5, 2020