Thousands have shown their support as part of a nationwide applause to pay tribute to NHS staff on the 72nd anniversary of the health service.

The round of clapping was inspired by the weekly Clap for Carers initiative to thank key workers during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

People across the UK had been encouraged to take part in the applause as a way of saying thank you to NHS staff who have worked throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who took part in the tribute, described it as a chance to applaud "those who have worked tirelessly and selflessly to help the nation get through this pandemic". 

HeraldScotland:

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon shared an image writing: "Happy 72nd Birthday, NHS. Thank you for everything" 

The idea for Sunday's round of applause was inspired by the success of the weekly Clap for Carers which saw households across the country show their appreciation for the NHS and other key workers during the lockdown.

Sharing a photo of himself clapping for the 5pm round of applause, England's Health Secretary Matt Hancock tweeted: “Fantastic to come together on the NHS’s 72nd birthday to once again clap for all our carers.

“Thank you all for everything you do.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer was joined by his neighbours as he took part in a nationwide applause to mark the 72nd anniversary of the NHS.

Sir Keir stood outside his home in Kentish Town, north London, and clapped with several others living nearby at 5pm on Sunday.