A commemorative 50p coin celebrating 75 years of the UK's National Health Service (NHS) has been released by the Royal Mint.

The collectible coin, created by Royal Mint designer Alice Lediard, features a portrait of King Charles on one side and words such as "support" and "empathy" on the other.

The design also uses a font similar to the one used by the NHS.

The coin, available to buy from the Royal Mint's website starting at £11, is the first time an NHS 50p has been sold as an individual coin.

Glasgow Times: The 50p coin celebrates the 75th anniversary of the NHSThe 50p coin celebrates the 75th anniversary of the NHS (Image: The Royal Mint/PA Wire)

Royal Mint releases NHS 50p coin to celebrate 75 years of the health service

All net proceeds from sales will be donated to NHS Charities Together.

The Royal Mint estimates that the donation could amount to £225,000.

Ms Lediard said: “It is an honour to have my design selected to appear on a 50p coin celebrating the NHS’s 75th anniversary.

“Like most of the nation, I have a deep-rooted pride and appreciation for the NHS.

“Both my partner and closest friends are NHS workers and worked on the frontline during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The beating heart of the NHS is the staff who work for it, so I wanted to make sure the words encompassed everyone, presented a positive outlook, and summed up decades of healthcare provision to the British public in a personal way that everyone could associate with.”

The 50p coin marks a milestone for the NHS, which has been serving the country's health needs for 75 years.

Ellie Orton, chief executive of NHS Charities Together, said: “NHS charities have been supporting the NHS throughout its 75 years, and the help we provide has never been more important.

“We are here for everyone who wants to give something back to the NHS and we are so grateful to the Royal Mint for donating the proceeds of this new coin to our charity. Together we can help the NHS go further for its staff and patients and ensure everyone can access the best healthcare possible.”

To date, the charity has been involved with funding initiatives that provide support to NHS staff, patients, and communities.

Amanda Pritchard, NHS chief executive, said: “We are delighted that the Royal Mint has launched this new coin to celebrate our 75th birthday and recognise the incredible hard work and dedication of our staff, as we mark 75 years of caring for our communities and of the special role that the NHS continues to hold for the public.

“After some of the most challenging years in our history, from managing the pandemic response to rolling out our world-leading vaccination programme, and now pulling out all the stops to recover services, it is important that we celebrate the achievements of our incredible staff and volunteers and look ahead to the future and the next 75 years of the NHS.”

The Royal Mint has, over the years, celebrated several milestones in the NHS’s history on official UK coins, including a 50p in 1998 in honour of the NHS's 50th anniversary.

Last year, the Royal Mint manufactured 1.9 million medical visors for NHS staff during the Covid-19 pandemic.

As Ellie Orton pointed out, the money raised from the sale of the commemorative coin will help the NHS charities to support those impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The coin is also a chance for more people to acknowledge the role of the NHS and show their support for the organisation.

The coin offers a unique opportunity for people to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the NHS and recognise its significant contribution to the UK's health.

Rebecca Morgan, director of collector services at the Royal Mint, said: “The Royal Mint is delighted to announce that all net proceeds generated from the sale of the individual NHS 50p coin will be donated to NHS Charities Together, to help support and continue the incredible work they do daily.

“The Royal Mint is committed to producing products that celebrate and commemorate Britain’s most influential individuals, organisations, and institutions and the NHS has played a pivotal role in British society, supporting millions of people every day.

“As one of Britain’s most respected and admired institutions, all of us at the Royal Mint have such appreciation for the work and difference that both past and present NHS employees have and continue to make.

“It is a privilege to be involved in celebrating and marking the NHS’s 75th anniversary with an official UK 50p coin.”