Fife community council joy at Queen's NHS George Cross award after its nomination

The head of Kinghorn Community Council has expressed his delight at hearing The Queen has awarded the NHS to the George Cross – following the members’ nomination for the health service to be recognised with the highest bravery honour.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 5:02 pm

In March, Alan McIlravie, Provost of the Royal Burgh of Kinghorn Community Council, said the group tabled a motion nominating the National Health Service for the George Cross to reflect the hard work of its staff throughout the pandemic.

Mr McIlravie said he decided to put the NHS forward for the prestigious accolade after watching hard-working NHS staff in a Covid ward on the news.

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Alan McIlravie, Provost, Kinghorn Community Council, said he got the idea to nominate hard working NHS staff for their bravery in tackling the pandemic after watching them on a Covid ward on the news. Pictured: Forth Valley Royal Intensive Care Unit. Pic: Michael Gillen.
Alan McIlravie, Provost, Kinghorn Community Council, said he got the idea to nominate hard working NHS staff for their bravery in tackling the pandemic after watching them on a Covid ward on the news. Pictured: Forth Valley Royal Intensive Care Unit. Pic: Michael Gillen.

At the time he said: “The George Cross was created in 1940 by King George VI and it can be awarded to the military but it can also be awarded to civilians. It is the highest award for bravery that civilians can receive.

"A lot of its signage and paperwork has the George Cross on it and my thinking is that as well as individuals receiving bravery awards, the George Cross can also be awarded to organisations.

"When you reflect on the bravery of NHS staff – knowing the dangers of the virus and the fact their colleagues were becoming ill and dying – I felt they deserved to be nominated. I liken their work during the pandemic to a battle against an enemy – the enemy being the virus – and daily they have been going into hospitals, getting suited up in PPE to face it – knowing the dangers.

Alan McIlravie, Provost, Kinghorn Community Council.

"The community council of Kinghorn agreed to the motion and I have prepared a citation which I have sent to the honours committee in London.”

On learning of the award, recognising all NHS staff in all four nations, at the start of the week, Alan said: “It is fantastic the Queen has announced she is awarding the George Cross to the NHS and I couldn’t be happier on hearing this news. It’s quite emotional.

"I am confident that our nomination will have been one of several others and at the very least, these nominations express the widely felt admiration and gratitude that people feel towards the operational staff in our NHS.”

In her message, the Queen wrote: “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 of us all.”

Carol Potter, NHS Fife’s chief executive, added: “The announcement of the award of the George Cross to all NHS staff, past and present, across the four nations is a fitting tribute to the hard work, resilience and the drive of all our staff to care for the communities we serve, under the most difficult of circumstances.

“This award recognises the biggest challenge the NHS has had to face in over seven decades and the courage and compassion shown by all disciplines that make up our NHS.”

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