Julie Gillon, chief executive of the Trust, has today welcomed the NHS receiving the George Cross from Her Majesty The Queen.
Julie said: “For 74 years the NHS has been at the forefront of delivering care to the UK. And everyone at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust is committed to doing their bit to improve the health of our local population.
“Receiving the George Cross is a wonderful recognition of that commitment. I know I can speak for the all Trust colleagues when I say how honoured we are to be given this historic accolade.”
A handwritten message from Her Majesty The Queen
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.
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.
NHS staff visit Windsor Castle to receive George Cross
Representing the entire staff of the NHS at the special investiture at Windsor Castle today, were chief executive Amanda Pritchard and May Parsons, the nurse who delivered the first COVID-19 vaccination in the world.
Amanda Pritchard, said: “It was an incredible honour to receive the George Cross today from Her Majesty The Queen, on behalf of all NHS staff – current and former – who have given so much to care for patients and their loved ones.
“The award recognises the extraordinary courage, compassion and dedication of staff over more than 70 years, particularly in the face of the COVID pandemic.
“So it was particularly special to receive it alongside May, who made history when she delivered the world’s first Covid jab outside of the clinical trial, kick-starting the most successful vaccination programme in NHS history.
“The story of the NHS is one of adaption and innovation as the health service addresses the changing needs of each generation and that has never been more true than during the pandemic when health service staff’s can-do spirit shone through.
“As we look forward to the NHS’s 75th birthday next year, we will use that same determination and agility to address the challenges we face in the next phase of the response to COVID.
“I was deeply honoured but also humbled to play a part in this momentous ceremony and represent the 1.5 million brilliant, dedicated and heroic NHS staff across England.”
The George cross is awarded for ‘acts of the greatest heroism or of the most courage in circumstances of extreme danger’. It is granted in recognition of actions by civilians and military personnel not in the face of the enemy.
Today marks only the third time the George Cross has been awarded to a collective organisation, following the country of Malta (1942) and The Royal Ulster Constabulary (1999).