National Health Service GC (Direct Recipient)

DATE OF GC ACTION: March 2020 – July 2021.

On 5 July 2021, on the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the NHS of the UK, Queen Elizabeth II announced in a personal handwritten message that the national health services would be awarded the George Cross. The conferral award, the highest award bestowed by the British Crown for non-operational gallantry or gallantry not in the presence of an enemy, followed a 18 month period in which the health services has been at the forefront of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic in the UK. The conferral was the third time the award had been collectively issued. In a handwritten note the Queen said the award was being made to all NHS staff past and present for their “courage, compassion and dedication” throughout the pandemic.

National Health Service


The National Health Services of the United Kingdom, comprising the National Health Services in England, Scotland and Wales and the Northern Ireland Health and Social Care system.

For over 70 years the National Health Services of the United Kingdom have cared for the health and well-being of the population of the UK and in so doing has sought to protect and preserve the lives of all those whom they treat.

In 2020-21, all who work in our healthcare service, throughout every part of the United Kingdom, have risen to the challenge of the greatest public health emergency in the organisation’s history: the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Every individual worker has carried out their role in the full knowledge of the highly contagious and deadly nature of the virus. Some have given their lives as a result of contracting the virus whilst carrying out their day to day work.

This award is made to recognise the collective courage and dedication of all of those working in our healthcare systems across the United Kingdom, in all capacities, who have accepted and faced into the danger and stress the pandemic has brought to them and their families.