THE public is being urged to take part in the biggest “thank-you” yet on the birthday of the NHS.

This weekend will see a number of different celebrations to show appreciation to the NHS for 72 years of service, especially after the most challenging period in its history.

On Saturday the public is being asked to put a light in windows to remember those lost to coronavirus. On Sunday, broadcasters will stop normal shows at 5pm with everybody encouraged to take to the street in the biggest applause for NHS and key workers yet.

Sir Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, said: “This year has been the most challenging in NHS history, with staff displaying extraordinary dedication, skill and compassion to care for the 100,000 patients with Covid-19 who needed specialist hospital treatment, and many others besides.

“The NHS’s anniversary this year not only offers the opportunity for us to say thank-you to the nation, but for us all to come together at 5pm to pause and recognise all the work which has taken place in the last months and say a heartfelt thank-you.”