Thank you NHS

Clap for Carers: Britain celebrates NHS workers with a round of applause during coronavirus crisis

  • Millions stand to applaud NHS workers on Thursdays at 8pm
  • #clapforcarers started to show appreciation during COVID-19 outbreak
  • Hashtag goes viral on Twitter and many celebrities take part 

Millions of Britons stood to applaud NHS workers for their service during the COVID-19 outbreak.

People stood and clapped out on their doorsteps, balconies and out their windows to show their appreciation.

Videos went viral on social media of people including celebrities joining the #clapforcarers campaign. 

GP Aisha Nasir said: “I didn’t actually think that anyone would come out of their house to applaud. I was overwhelmed to find nearly all our neighbours out on their doorsteps. 

“A few of my neighbours know I’m a GP and were waving my way. It was a touching moment. We’re all just doing our jobs, trying our best to keep our NHS going and it felt nice to be appreciated. 

“It’s really daunting being an NHS worker during this time. There’s a lot of uncertainty, a lot of changes and a lot of risk. Patient care is paramount but given the nature of this virus, we’ve got to look out for ourselves too.

“At the moment there’s something like 25% of GPs having to self-isolate, if not more. This then impacts the rest of the team with more work and more pressure. It’s a really tough time at the moment.

“Both my personal and professional life have been heavily impacted. I’m just praying this is over sooner rather than later.”

Clapping by the public took place on Thursday at 8pm with #clapforcarers and #thankyouNHS trending on Twitter. 

Newly qualified nurse, Lucy Elliott, said: “It was emotional. It made me cry to see how appreciative everyone is of us.

“Despite this there is still more to be done to ensure more personal protective equipment is available across all healthcare settings and ensuring that the NHS is appropriately funded throughout and after the pandemic.”

Annemarie Plas, from south London, created the #clapforcarers movement and has suggested this take place every Thursday till the end of lockdown.

Mental health nurse, Layreb Mehmood, said: “It made me feel valued and appreciated during this difficult time and gave me a sense of belonging to the NHS.

“It’s very stressful and unpredictable right now and it is very anxiety-provoking due to the risk we have to carry and also leaving our families behind, as you don’t know what you could be bringing back to them.

“It is always extremely busy due to staffing levels being poor and with staff being off for self-isolation. There is also a reduced amount of services and support as some mental health services have had to close.”