THE NHS in Wales has been awarded the George Cross in recognition of the efforts of all staff during the pandemic.

The award comes as the NHS celebrates its 73rd birthday.
The George Cross is rarely given to organisations and recognises extraordinary acts of bravery in trying to save the lives of other people.

As well as efforts during the pandemic, the award celebrates the work done since the inception of the NHS in 1948.

The George Cross Committee advised the Prime Minister the NHS should be recognised in this way. There were discussions with the First Ministers of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and it was decided each of their NHS’ would be awarded the medal separately.


Health minister Eluned Morgan said Aneurin Bevan, the Tredegar-born MP for Ebbw Vale instrumental in the creation of the NHS, would have been proud of its performance in the last 18 months.

“This award is not just to recognise those who work in the service today, but those who have worked in this loved institution since it was established,” said Ms Morgan.

“It is hard to put into words how grateful we are to the NHS in Wales for everything they have done throughout the pandemic, going above and beyond the call of duty to treat, care and support us.

“This award is a small token of our appreciation for the heroic service they have given and how indebted we are.

“The pandemic is not over. We have many challenges to come - but if we have learnt anything over the last 18 months, it is that the strength of character, resolve and determination of our NHS is unquestionable. We are incredibly lucky to have such a service.”

NHS Wales chief executive Andrew Goodall, said staff across Wales “have shown strength, passion, professionalism and dedication throughout one of the biggest challenges of our lifetime.

“They have been there for us and our loved ones when nobody else could be, and have shouldered enormous physical and emotional demands.

“While the award is a fitting tribute to NHS staff, I know those working in the NHS would like to join me in also recognising the contribution of all those working in partnership with the NHS.

“This includes colleagues in social care, key workers and volunteers who have stepped in when needed, and not least the public who have made many sacrifices along the way. The response has been a truly collective one.”

Arrangements will be made in due course for the presentation of The George Cross at Buckingham Palace.