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Starmer and Prince Charles lead tributes to NHS

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Grateful: Sir Keir Starmer

Grateful: Sir Keir Starmer

Grateful: Sir Keir Starmer

The Prince of Wales and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer have paid tribute to the NHS to mark its 72nd anniversary.

People clapped yesterday as a way of saying thank you to NHS staff who have worked throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

The initiative follows the success of the weekly Clap for Carers, and it is hoped the applause will become an annual tradition.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson met NHS workers in the Number 10 garden yesterday, while public buildings including the Royal Albert Hall, Blackpool Tower and the Shard were lit up blue in tribute to the health service.

Both Sir Keir and Charles paid tribute to the NHS in separate messages on Sunday.

Charles said: "The current pandemic means that the NHS - and the entire country - has been through the most testing time in the service's history.

"Our remarkably selfless nurses, doctors, paramedics and countless other staff have made costly sacrifices to provide treatment for more than a hundred thousand patients with coronavirus and thousands more who needed other care.

"And, in tribute to them, we have come together as a nation to thank them for their skill, professionalism and dedication."

Meanwhile, Sir Keir said the health service had a personal resonance for him as his late mother was a nurse and later relied on the NHS as she became ill.

He said: "Many, many times she got gravely ill and it was the NHS that she turned to, and I remember as a boy, a teenager, being in high dependency units, in intensive care units, with my mum, watching nurses and other support staff keep my mum alive.

"They did that on more than one occasion - it's etched in my memory. For them, it was just the day job. So, it's very personal for me and I'm very grateful to the NHS and my mum was very grateful, she loved the NHS through the many decades that she absolutely depended on them."

Belfast Telegraph