The First Minister has joined other leaders in paying tribute to the NHS on its 72nd anniversary. 

It comes as people are being encouraged to revive the evening clap to mark the occasion and to thank NHS staff who have worked throughout the pandemic. 

The Scottish Government lit up its buildings in blue on Saturday night in honour of the hardworking staff. 

Nicola Sturgeon said: "Happy 72nd birthday to our NHS.

"This year, more than any other, we have been reminded of just how precious it is."

Tonight's clap will take place at 5pm, following the success of the weekly Clap for Carers. 

READ MORE: Extra Clap For NHS to take place TONIGHT – here’s when and why it's important

The Prince of Wales and Labour leader Sir Kier Starmer also sent out messages to the NHS. 

Prince Charles said: “The current pandemic means that the NHS – and the entire country – has been through the most testing time in the service’s history.

“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.”

Meanwhile, Sir Keir said the health service had a personal resonance for him as his late mother was a nurse and later relied on the NHS as she became ill.

He said: “Many, many times she got gravely ill and it was the NHS that she turned to, and I remember as a boy, a teenager, being in high dependency units, in intensive care units, with my mum, watching nurses and other support staff keep my mum alive.

“They did that on more than one occasion – it’s etched in my memory. For them, it was just the day job. They were doing that every day.

“So, it’s very personal for me and I’m very grateful to the NHS and my mum was very grateful, she loved the NHS through the many decades that she absolutely depended on them.”