Prince Charles pays tribute to the “costly sacrifices” doctors and nurses made during the corona virus
Prince Charles today pays tribute to the “costly sacrifices” made by doctors, nurses and paramedics during the coronavirus outbreak, on the 72nd anniversary of the NHS.
In the run-up to the ‘hit for the NHS’ at 5pm – a repeat of the ‘caretaker hit’ that left the UK in a closed state – buildings across the country turned blue last night.
The illuminated landmarks include Downing Street, the Houses of Parliament, Wembley Stadium, SEC Glasgow, Blackpool Tower, Windsor Castle’s Round Tower, the Shard in London and the Eden Project biomes in Cornwall.
Prince Charles today marked the 72nd anniversary of the NHS, a tribute to the “costly sacrifices” made by doctors, nurses and paramedics during the coronavirus pandemic
In a video message celebrating the NHS anniversary recorded at Clarence House on Friday, the Prince of Wales also praises the ‘renewal of our community spirit’, with volunteers helping the most vulnerable and key people play a critical role during the pandemic .
Charles, 71, says: “Today is the anniversary of the establishment of the National Health Service. On July 5, 1948, just four months before I was born, Trafford General Hospital opened its doors and cared for everyone according to their needs – not their ability to pay.
“After more than seven decades, that basic tenet, while now known, is still a deeply moving statement of our values - and it has never been more relevant than it is today.
The current pandemic means that the NHS – and the entire country – has been through the most ordeal in the service’s history. Our remarkably selfless nurses, doctors, paramedics, and countless other employees have made costly sacrifices to provide treatment to more than 100,000 patients with coronavirus and thousands of others who required other care.
The Eden Project Biomes was illuminated in blue on Friday evening as part of the 72-year anniversary of the NHS
Monuments across the country, including Houses of Parliament, Blackpool Tower (left) and The Shard (right), lit blue last night to pay tribute to the NHS
“And as a tribute to them, we came together as a nation to thank them for their competence, professionalism and dedication.”
Charles also emphasizes how the pandemic brought out the best in people, saying, “ Of course, our entire society has taken up this extraordinary challenge, from the farmers, fruit and vegetable pickers, delivery workers and store workers who supplied our food, to the energy workers who kept on the light, the transport staff and the officials and businessmen who continued to provide essential services.
“Every new difficulty has been addressed with a new solution. Numerous volunteers have come forward to help the most deprived and of course all have contributed by following the official advice to help stop the spread of this cruel virus.
“This renewal of our sense of community was a silver lining in this dark time.”
Charles, who met NHS employees when he visited a hospital in Gloucester last month, adds, “In the past few months, the phrase ‘shielding’ has been emphasized that it didn’t have before.
But while the meaning may be new, the principle of protection for those in need is timeless.
The Round Tower at Windsor Castle, where Queen Elizabeth lives during the coronavirus pandemic, joined other sights on Friday evening and turned blue
“To all who have given so much during this present danger, I just want to say that you have been us who have been our shield. It is your hands that have held us up. It is your softness that has made us great.
Despite everything that went through, there is a deep reason for gratitude and a real reason for pride. In the way we care for all members of our society, our greatness is truly in kindness. So thank you all for what you did – more than I can say. ‘
NHS director Sir Simon Stevens said he hoped the public would use the anniversary as an opportunity to say “thank you” to hospital staff.
Sir Simon said, “This year was the most challenging in the history of the NHS, with staff displaying extraordinary dedication, skill and compassion.
“During this testing period, our nurses, doctors, physio, pharmacists and countless colleagues were supported by the support of the public, not least by the weekly applause for the main employees.”