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The National Health Service in the UK is a critical part of the nation, but it becomes even more so during difficult times–such as a pandemic.

In the midst of this global health crisis, the NHS has been relying on a large number of workers who are from overseas to keep the organization running and able to take care of the people who need it. These overseas workers are vital to its mission and running.

That’s why Overseas NHS Workers Day was created, and why these people deserve to be celebrated!

History of Overseas NHS Workers Day

Founded by The Doctors’ Association UK, Overseas NHS Workers Day was created to take the opportunity to recognize the extraordinary contribution made in the fight against COVID-19 by those who have migrated to the United Kingdom.

Fulfilling all kinds of different roles within the National Health Service, almost 200 different nationalities are represented within the NHS in England alone. This includes nationalities such as Indian, Filipino, Irish and many others that make up almost 14% of NHS staff.

Even with this extra help from those overseas, the NHS still does not have enough staff to meet the need, which puts an extra strain on those in the trenches. Plus, living and serving in a foreign country can be difficult, considering the additional stress of visa issues, red tape, and missing out on life with family and friends at home.

With this in mind, The Doctors’ Association UK wanted to put forth an extra effort to recognize and thank those overseas workers serving the healthcare community. Overseas NHS Workers Day is just the day to do it!

How to Celebrate Overseas NHS Workers Day

Taking some time to thank an overseas NHS worker in whatever way possible is the essence of this important day. Consider these ideas for making Overseas NHS Workers Day a special one:

Wear Green and Blue

NHS trusts are encouraging staff (and any others who want to join in!) to dress on this day in green and blue–the colors of the globe. For NHS workers, this might mean wearing blue scrubs with a green lanyard, mask, bandana or armband. For non-medical workers, you can still show your appreciation by dressing in green and blue and sharing your reason why with a friend!

Show Your Appreciation

Whether a friend, neighbor, or someone who works at the primary care office, take a moment to thank a foreign NHS worker for their service. Write them a thank you card, send a bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates, bake them a cake, or simply send a text to let them know that they are thought of with affection and appreciated!

One Minute of Silence

On a more solemn note, organizations and offices are also encouraged to observe one minute of silence during the day, in honor and memory of all of those NHS workers who have lost their lives to COVID-19.

Not from the UK?

That’s fine! While Overseas NHS Workers Day is of course centred around the United Kingdom health service, its core message rings true wherever you are in the world.

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