Queen awards NHS with George Cross medalon July 12, 2022 at 4:30 pm

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The vaccine rollout had been “amazing”, said the Queen, at a ceremony at Windsor Castle.

The Queen speaking to NHS England chief executive Amanda Pritchard and May ParsonsImage source, Reuters

The Queen has praised the “amazing” Covid vaccine rollout and awarded the NHS the George Cross.

Health leaders from the four UK nations were awarded the medal at a small ceremony at Windsor Castle on Tuesday.

It is only the third time ever that a George Cross has been awarded to an organisation rather than an individual.

Joining the event was May Parsons, the nurse who delivered the world’s first vaccine outside of clinical trials on 8 December 2020.

The Queen said the vaccine effort which began on that day was “amazing” as she celebrated the achievements of the NHS.

Also on Tuesday, Olympic diver Tom Daley and personal finance expert Martin Lewis were presented with awards, both receiving OBEs.

Tom Daley next to his husband Dustin Lance Black with his OBE

Image source, Reuters

Wearing a day dress and moving with the aid of a walking stick, Her Majesty said it was “tremendous” that tens of millions of people in the UK had taken up the jab.

NHS England chief executive Amanda Pritchard paid tribute to those who worked on the front line and said the vaccine programme saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

She told the Queen that the medal will go on a tour of the NHS before a permanent home is found.

(Left to right) Sister Joanna Hogg, Royal Victoria Hospital Emergency Department, Mr Peter May, Permanent Secretary at the Department of Health, Ms May Parsons Modern Matron at University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire, Ms Amanda Pritchard, Chief Executive NHS England, Queen Elizabeth II, the Prince of Wales, Ms Caroline Lamb, Chief Executive NHS Scotland, Ms Eleanor Grant, Palliative Car Nurse, Specialist University Hospital Wishaw, NHS Lanarkshire, Ms Judith Paget CBE, Chief Executive NHS Wales and Dr Ami Jones MBE, Intensive Care Consultant, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, after an Audience at Windsor Castle, Berkshire.

Image source, PA Media

The Queen awarding the George Cross to Judith Paget CBE, chief executive of NHS Wales, and Dr. Ami Jones MBE

Image source, Reuters

Lt Col Michael Vernon, comptroller of the Lord Chamberlain’s office with responsibility for organising ceremonial events, said: “This award recognises all NHS staff, past and present, across all disciplines and all four nations.

“Over more than seven decades, and especially in recent times, you have supported the people of our country with courage, compassion and dedication, demonstrating the highest standards of public service.

“You have our enduring thanks and heartfelt appreciation.”

Queen Elizabeth presents the George Cross to Caroline Lamb, chief executive NHS Scotland, and Eleanor Grant, Palliative Care Nurse, Specialist University Hospital Wishaw, NHS Lanarkshire

Image source, Reuters

NHS England chief executive Amanda Pritchard said she was honoured to attend on behalf of workers.

“Under the most difficult of circumstances during the pandemic, our staff responded magnificently,” she said

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