UNITED Kingdom’s Head of State, Queen Elizabeth II has awarded the National Health Service, (NHS), the George Cross in recognition to its staff past and present.
Disclosing this in a handwritten message, the Queen says that the NHS staff have done their work with courage, compassion and dedication for 73 years.
“It is with great pleasure, on behalf of a grateful nation, that I award the George Cross to the National Health Services of the United Kingdom.
”This award recognises all NHS staff, past and present, across all disciplines and all four nations. You have our enduring thanks and heartfelt appreciation, “the royal letter on Windsor Castle headed paper said.
According to the message, NHS was implemented by the Labor government in 1948 at the heart of social reforms following the Second World War, with a mission to provide state-funded comprehensive universal healthcare.
The George Cross was created in 1940 by King George VI and is in recognition of acts of the greatest heroism or of the most courage in circumstances of extreme danger and awarded to NHS on advice of the George Cross Committee and the Prime Minister.
The Queen added that over more than seven decades, and especially in recent times, the health staff have supported the people of United Kingdom with courage, compassion and dedication, demonstrating the highest standards of public service.
NHS Chief Executive, Simon Stevens, said the honor recognised the skill, compassion and fortitude of staff right across the service, in responding to the worst pandemic in a century.
“Out of those dark times have come the best of what it means to be a carer and a health professional,” Stevens said.
It will be recalled that the George Cross was first bestowed collectively to the people of Malta in 1942 by Queen Elizabeth’s father, King George VI, and to the Royal Ulster Constabulary by the queen in 1999.