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Minister urges everyone to clap for the health service

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Health Minister Robin Swann has urged everyone in Northern Ireland to take part in the nationwide applause for the NHS on its 72nd birthday on Sunday.

The Minister said the planned 5.00pm tribute is especially significant given the sacrifices health and social care staff have made during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We should always treasure the NHS and our localised version of it – the Health and Social Care (HSC) system. Sunday also provides an opportunity for us all to express our gratitude to staff. Let me again place on record my personal thanks to every one of them for all that they have done and continue to do.”

The Minister continued: “The founding principles of the NHS are every bit as relevant and important as they were in 1948.

“I have repeatedly made clear that we need to look after our health service better. That includes building up its resilience and capacity through long-term investment and innovation.”

Mr Swann also urged the public to back the health service by continuing to follow public health advice on the COVID-19 threat.

“Supporting the health service is about much more than applause. We have to keep doing everything we can to stop the spread of the virus.

“It is essential that the health service is protected from a second wave of infections.

“Please keep washing your hands and practising social distancing. Please keep doing the right thing.”

A platform piece from the Minister on the NHS birthday is available on the Department’s website at: https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/news/lets-take-our-lead-those-who-built-nhs

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