Changing the conversation about health

Celebrating 73 years of the NHS: ‘Our frontline workers have never been more tested than in the months since the pandemic began’

Key figures at The College of Medicine have praised NHS, social care and frontline workers as the healthcare organisation celebrates its 73rd birthday.

The first NHS, Social Care and Frontline Workers’ Day took place on Monday, July 5th 2021 – exactly 73 years after the NHS was founded.

Across the UK, a series of events raised money for NHS Charities Together – which supports 250 hospitals – and the National Care Association, which represents 1.6 million care workers.

A two-minute silence nationwide played out at 11am followed by the playing of the Last Post and Reveille by buglers, trumpeters and cornet players drawn locally from cadet forces, brass, silver and school bands, the Salvation Army and individual musicians.

Afternoon teas were held throughout the country and a clap at 8pm for NHS, social care and frontline workers – as was common on Thursday evenings during the height of the first lockdown in 2020 – also took place.

The College of Medicine’s Chair Dr Michael Dixon said: “The NHS, our frontline workers and carers have never been more tested than in the months that have passed since the pandemic began in early 2020.

“July 5th offers us a chance to say thank you for the sacrifices made as Covid wreaked havoc on our everyday lives. It’s also a day to mark the NHS’ beginnings – back in 1948 – and celebrate an organisation that is envied the world over for the equity of care it offers.” 

There will be a two-minute silence at 11am on July 5th to pay tribute to NHS, social care and frontline workers
Picture: Pixabay/Cromaconceptovisual

Mr Michael Dooley, Treasurer of the College of Medicine and a consultant gynaecologist in London, said the NHS continued to be the ‘jewel in the United Kingdom’s crown’ while Chief Officer Amanda King praised the response of healthcare and frontline workers during the pandemic.

Mr Dooley said: “Having worked in the NHS for over 40 years – and had over five generations of my own family treated by the NHS – it’s clear to me that it remains a wonderful organisation that is the jewel in the United Kingdom’s crown.”

He added: “We must also thank all other key workers and citizens who have shown great resilience as well as dedication to the community spirit that is seeing us through this pandemic and will see us beyond it.”   


Amanda King said of the day: “Everyone has played their part to support the NHS, whether it’s shopkeepers staying open or publicans closing – and all of us have had to observe social distancing and endure restrictions to our everyday lives. It has been a massive team effort. We know College members have not been able to see or hug family members and that we’ve missed our friends – all in a bid not to overwhelm our wonderful NHS.” 

In a message about the day on the website, pageant master Bruno Peek said he hoped July 5th would be a “true nationwide celebration and show our appreciation of everything NHS staff and all key workers do for our country”.