IN celebration of the NHS’s 72nd anniversary the region stood on their doorsteps to clap and cheer in support of care workers.

At 5pm, people lined their thresholds to clap, while others beeped car horns and banged pans to show their appreciation.

The nationwide clap follows the success of the weekly Clap for Carers during the coronavirus outbreak and it is hoped that the applause will become an annual tradition.

Great North Air Ambulance Service saying thank you to the NHS

Richard Barker, NHS regional director for North East and Yorkshire, said the 72nd anniversary of the creation of the service was an opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to everyone who had helped respond to the coronavirus pandemic and remember those who had lost their lives.

He said: “2020 has perhaps been the most challenging year in the history of the NHS.

“To respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, the NHS has stepped up to redesign services, recruit thousands more staff and volunteers and even build hospitals – including NHS Nightingale Yorkshire and Humber.

“We are grateful to everyone involved – frontline workers, thousands of colleagues who returned to the NHS and staff in the health and social care sectors."

At Darlington Memorial Hospital, medical staff were joined by residents who came together to give their thanks.

York’s historic city walls, Penshaw Monument in Sunderland and Durham County Hall, also took part and were lit blue to coincide with the weekend of celebrating the NHS.

The Northern Echo:

NHS staff outside Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle, join in the pause for applause to salute the NHS 72nd birthday. Pictures: Owen Humphries/PA

The landmarks marked the occasion on Saturday evening as part of a national #LightItBlue campaign which also saw the likes of the Blackpool Tower, the Royal Albert Hall, The Shard and Wembley Arch change colour for the NHS.

The Northern Echo:

Singing nuns in Sunderland showing their support for the NHS on its 72nd anniversary Picture: NORTH NEWS

Health Secretary Matt Hancock also showed his appreciation.

Sharing a photo of himself clapping for the 5pm round of applause, Health Secretary Matt Hancock tweeted: "Fantastic to come together on the NHS's 72nd birthday to once again clap for all our carers.

"Thank you all for everything you do."