AN NHS trust is returning the compliment of the last ten weeks' of clapping for carers with a round of applause back to the country.

Staff from North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust have recorded their own Clap for the Country video.

The video of clinical and non-clinical staff from all areas of the trust giving the country a round of applause was posted to the trust’s social media accounts last week.

Julie Gillon, chief executive of North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The support of the public so far has been incredible.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the messages of goodwill and generous donations and the weekly clap for key workers has been the icing on the cake.

“I’ve spoken to staff who have been incredibly moved by the show of support from all over the country.

“We wanted to pay that love back so we recorded our video returning that show of appreciation. The country clapped for us, now we clap for you.”

The trust is reminding people that the key message of physical distancing and regular, thorough hand washing has not changed.

She continued: “Our staff have been heroic in their work caring for patients with COVID-19. But please make no mistake, this is not yet over.

“We ask that people continue to protect the NHS by continuing to stay home and to practice physical distancing on essential trips out of the house.

“Handwashing is also essential. Please don’t let any new good habits fall by the wayside.

“As the applause fades, our work continues. Please help us to help you and do all you can to make sure you and your loved ones are protected from the virus.”

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust recently launched its #HaveAHeartStayApart campaign which uses everyday objects such as beds and shopping trollies and even James Arthur records to illustrate the required two metre gap while outside the home.

Staff have also recorded videos appealing for people to stay home.