George Cross is a ‘fitting honour’ for NHS staff, but real recognition would be giving the health service what it needs, says BMA

by BMA media team

Press release from the BMA

Location: England
Published: Tuesday 12 July 2022

Responding to the presentation of the George Cross to the NHS, Professor Philip Banfield, chair of BMA council, said: “This is rightful recognition of the incredible work the NHS has done over the last 74 years, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic when staff went above and beyond to keep the country safe.
 
“Staff repeatedly worked excessive overtime and spent hours in head-to-toe PPE, sacrificing time with their families so that patients could get to go home to theirs. Some even gave their lives in the fight against the virus.
 
“Healthcare workers quite frankly deserve more than a medal. They deserve to work in a health service that properly values them, otherwise it’s merely paying lip service to their efforts without proper reward.
 
“Government cannot escape the reality that the NHS is under-resourced and overstretched, and while that makes this accolade all the more impressive, it doesn’t make it right. For seven decades and counting, the NHS has stood fast and protected the nation - the least Government can do is protect it in return.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

The BMA is a trade union and professional association representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.