NHS doctor thanks public for nationwide salute ‘as we head into the storm’

PUBLISHED: 09:57 27 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:23 27 March 2020

A sign by Wembley Park Tube Station in London that thanks the hardworking NHS staff who are trying to battle coronavirus. Photograph: John Walton/PA Wire.

A sign by Wembley Park Tube Station in London that thanks the hardworking NHS staff who are trying to battle coronavirus. Photograph: John Walton/PA Wire.

A doctor has said the public’s applause for the NHS was a welcome boost ‘as we head into the storm’.

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People in Wapping Wharf, Bristol, come out onto their balconies to join in a national applause for the NHS from their doorsteps, windows and balconies to show their appreciation for all NHS workers who are helping to fight the Coronavirus. Photograph: PA WirePeople in Wapping Wharf, Bristol, come out onto their balconies to join in a national applause for the NHS from their doorsteps, windows and balconies to show their appreciation for all NHS workers who are helping to fight the Coronavirus. Photograph: PA Wire

Up and down the country, members of the public put their hands together for NHS workers and others who have been battling the coronavirus pandemic.

Tom, 42, a consultant anaesthetist, heard the applause on his way home from work at a London hospital.

“It was really touching to hear the applause,” he told the PA news agency.

“We’re all so worried about whether we’re going to be able to be there for all the patients who are going to need us over the coming weeks and months, and knowing that the public have got our backs was much needed.

Staff from the Royal Liverpool University Hospital join in a national applause for the NHS as people across the country showed their appreciation for all NHS workers who are helping to fight the Coronavirus. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire.Staff from the Royal Liverpool University Hospital join in a national applause for the NHS as people across the country showed their appreciation for all NHS workers who are helping to fight the Coronavirus. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire.

“Hearing the clapping told us that people out there know how hard everyone has been working to get ahead of the coming surge as much as we can, and that has given us a boost - a reminder that there’s a world outside the frantic bubble of Covid-related work we’ve all been living in for weeks now.”

Political figures such as Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn joined in the applause, which was carried out at 8pm on Thursday night.

More than 670,000 people have signed up for the NHS volunteer programme in 48 hours, prompting the government to increase the target to 750,000.

People are being sought to help deliver shopping and medication to those in need, transport patients and NHS equipment, or check in and chat on the phone with individuals at risk of loneliness as a result of self-isolation.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (right) and Chancellor Rishi Sunak outside 10 Downing Street, London, joining in with a national applause for the NHS to show appreciation for all NHS workers who are helping to fight the Coronavirus. Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA Wire.Prime Minister Boris Johnson (right) and Chancellor Rishi Sunak outside 10 Downing Street, London, joining in with a national applause for the NHS to show appreciation for all NHS workers who are helping to fight the Coronavirus. Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA Wire.

And Tom said that the effort made within the NHS to prepare for the task ahead has been “heartening to see.”

He said: “We’ve all been daunted by what we’ve seen happening in Italy, and in China before that, and knowing that it is heading this way.

“In a few weeks, we’ve completely changed some things in the NHS which previously would have taken months or years to get sorted out, and the sense of can-do and expediency from all the staff has been heartening to see.

“It’s really felt like a huge collective endeavour - all hands on deck as we head into the storm.”

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Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press with your support. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

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