In recognition of 72nd birthday of the NHS, the UK is being encouraged to pause at 5pm this evening with an nationwide applause.
For ten weeks from March 26th, households around Northern Ireland paid tribute to NHS staff and other key workers on Thursday evenings at 8pm, taking to their doorsteps to clap.
The final public clap took place on May 28th, but tonight it returns again at 5pm for a special one off in recognition of the special event.
Speaking ahead of 72 years of the NHS, Health Minister Robin Swann said:
“We should always treasure the NHS and our localised version of it – the Health and Social Care (HSC) system. Sunday also provides an opportunity for us all to express our gratitude to staff. Let me again place on record my personal thanks to every one of them for all that they have done and continue to do.
“The founding principles of the NHS are every bit as relevant and important as they were in 1948.
“I have repeatedly made clear that we need to look after our health service better. That includes building up its resilience and capacity through long-term investment and innovation.
“Supporting the health service is about much more than applause. We have to keep doing everything we can to stop the spread of the virus.
“It is essential that the health service is protected from a second wave of infections.
“Please keep washing your hands and practising social distancing. Please keep doing the right thing.”