The Queen has given the George Cross to the NHS for seven decades of public service including battling coronavirus as she praised the courage, compassion and commitment shown by staff and said the organisation had the enduring gratitude of a grateful nation.
In a personal handwritten message on Windsor Castle headed paper, Her Majesty highlighted the bravery exhibited by frontline workers during the pandemic and said Britain’s highest civilian gallantry medal would recognise all NHS staff, past and present on the NHS’ 73rd birthday.
She wrote that it was with great delight, on behalf of a grateful nation, that she awarded the George Cross to the National Health Service of the United Kingdom, and that the award acknowledged all NHS workers, past and present, across all disciplines and all four nations.
She wrote that over more than seven decades, and particularly in recent times, the NHS had supported the people of the country with bravery, empathy and commitment, demonstrating the highest standards of public service, and they had their enduring gratitude and sincere appreciation.
The honour of the George Cross by The Queen is made on the recommendation of the George Cross Committee and the Prime Minister, and details of the presentation of the award will be established at a later date.
It’s not yet clear if all NHS workers will be given a copy of Her Majesty’s rare handwritten letter, but they will not get to use GC after their names, because the award was to the NHS as an organisation and not individuals.
As the Queen acknowledged the NHS and its heroes, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took the lead and commemorated the 73rd anniversary of the NHS, in which the couple attended a service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral before hosting an afternoon tea at Buckingham Palace.
The George Cross was established by King George VI on September 24, 1940, during the height of the Blitz, and is given in recognition of acts of the greatest heroism or of the most courage in situations of extreme danger.
NHS workers, with many on the frontline, have endangered their lives to treat COVID patients, with hundreds having died from the virus and countless more experiencing long term effects, and NHS workers have also helped to administer 79 million jabs and have treated 405,000 seriously ill COVID hospital patients in England alone, often in swelteringly hot PPE.
But what about all the other frontline workers, delivery drivers, supermarket workers, post office workers, teachers et cetera, and although it’s a truly wonderful award, it’s a ludicrous award because not one of the amazing front line doctors and nurses including those that lost their lives will be able to wear the award or have GC after their name.
It also awards the NHS administrators who botched up so badly over supplies of PPE, and local GP’s and dentists who’ve not seen a patient in more than a year, and departments that sat idle while cancer and other severely ill patients died, and finally, it seems to stick two fingers up at all the other dedicated workers who kept this nation going, providing food, transportation and protecting lives, and this appears to be another lot of Government politics that’s been imposed on the Queen.
Of course, delivery drivers and supermarket workers aren’t at the same level as doctors and nurses but try going without food during the pandemic, they endangered their lives when no one knew how dangerous it would be, and they were there for people when they needed their supplies, food and other goods.