Today is the 72nd anniversary of the beginning of the National Health Service in the UK, and The Prince of Wales has marked the occasion with a heartfelt video message to highlight the staff’s ‘skill, professionalism and dedication’.
Prince Charles wanted to thank NHS staff for their work over the years, allowing those from all backgrounds to access free healthcare, no matter their ability to pay.
“Today marks the anniversary of the foundation of the National Health Service,” Charles said. “On July the 5th, 1948, just four months before I was born, Trafford General Hospital opened its doors, providing care to all according to their need – not their ability to pay.
“After more than seven decades, that founding principle, though now familiar, is still a profoundly moving statement of our values – and it has never been more relevant than it is now.”
During the pandemic, a Clap for Carers event took place each Thursday night at 8pm for X weeks, when people would go to their front doors, open their windows and applaud the staff helping to save lives and fight against Covid-19.
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall participated, as did The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their family, as well as the Wessexes.
It was also Charles’ responsibility to open the UK’s first Nightingale hospital in London, via video link. Most recently, upon his return to England, the Royal spoke to hospital staff in Gloucestershire alongside his wife Camilla – from a safe distance, of course.
Charles added: “Our remarkably selfless nurses, doctors, paramedics and countless other staff have made costly sacrifices to provide treatment for more than a hundred thousand patients with Coronavirus and thousands more who needed other care. And, in tribute to them, we have come together as a nation to thank them for their skill, professionalism and dedication.”
The future King was tested and diagnosed with coronavirus by the NHS in Aberdeen.
The Prince also quoted from the Bible: “In Psalm 18, we read these words of thanks for deliverance from danger: You have also given me the shield of your salvation: and your right hand has held me up, and your gentleness has made me great.
“To all who have given so much during this present danger, I just want to say that it is you who have been our shield; it is your hands that have held us up; it is your gentleness that has made us great.”
“Despite all that has been endured, there is deep cause for gratitude, and a true reason for pride. In the way we care for all members of our society, our greatness truly is in gentleness. So, thank you all for what you have done – more than I can possibly say.”