National service of thanksgiving

NHS staff who were on the frontline in the battle against COVID-19 were at the heart of the special service of commemoration and thanksgiving that was held at St Paul’s Cathedral on Monday 5 July, the NHS’s birthday.

Led by the Very Reverend Dr David Ison, Dean of St Paul’s and the Right Reverend and Right Honourable Dame Sarah Mullally, Bishop of London, it recognised the dedication and commitment of all those who have played their part in combating coronavirus across the NHS, care sector and beyond.

Simon StevensNHS Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens said: “The NHS’s anniversary follows a uniquely challenging year for the health service and for the country.

“Twelve months ago, we all hoped the worst of coronavirus was behind us, but instead amazing NHS staff had to contend with a winter wave of infections even greater than the first. They rose to the challenge, not just providing care to coronavirus and other patients but, supported by volunteers and countless others, have also delivered the NHS COVID Vaccine programme with unrivalled speed and precision.

“This service is an opportunity for the whole country to reflect on the toll the virus has taken since the start of the pandemic and give thanks to the nurses, doctors, therapists, paramedics and countless other NHS staff, other key workers and everyone else including all those members of the public who played their full part”.

Dr Emily Lawson, NHS England’s Operational Lead for the NHS COVID-19 Vaccination programme who will also attend, said: “It is remarkable that so much has been achieved in such a difficult year. NHS staff, supported by volunteers and many others, have done a phenomenal job of vaccinating people, starting with those most at risk. However, we are not done yet and the best ‘birthday’ present you can give the NHS is to get a jab if you have not already done so – you are protecting yourself, your family and your friends”.

Read stories from staff across the NHS, care sector and beyond, who attended the service, alongside patients, who thanked staff for the incredible care they received.

St Paul's Cathedral
Guests during the NHS service of commemoration and thanksgiving.

All pictures courtesy of Graham Lacdao for St Paul’s Cathedral.