Thousands of people have joined the ‘welovetheNHS’ campaign on Twitter to show their backing for England’s National Health Service.

The campaign was launched to defend the service after US Republicans labeled it “evil” and “Orwellian” in a bid to discredit Barack Obama’s planned healthcare reforms, which could include a Federal government insurance scheme.

Tens of thousands of people have tweeted, including British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown. He said: “The NHS so often makes the difference between pain and comfort, despair and hope, life and death. Thanks for always being there.”

His wife, Sarah Brown quickly followed with: “#welovetheNHS – more than words can say.”

The campaign was partly sparked by criticisms from Tory MP, Daniel Hannan, who told a US chat show that he “wouldn’t wish the NHS on anybody.”

In response to Hannan’s comments, shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley tweeted: “There are millions of people who are grateful for the care they have received from the NHS. It does them and the NHS a disservice for Daniel Hannan to give Americans such a negative and partial view.”

Although opposition leader David Cameron is not signed up to the Twitter website – and has expressed his disdain for the micro-blogging service – he said that his party was 100% behind the campaign.

In an email sent to supporters he said: “Millions of people are grateful for the care they have received from the NHS – including my own family.”

On Wednesday, the campaign crashed the Twitter website after thousands of people tried to add their comments.

When E-Health Insider visited the Hashtag #welovetheNHS on Friday morning to read the comments, more than 600 were added in ten minutes.

Among the Tweet found included the post: “Seriously, I can’t list all the NHS has done my family in 140 characters, but it’s astonishing” and “It is our crowning glory, something we are united in supporting. Without it, many of us would be dead. Long live it and us!"

Twitter – welovethenhs