27 March 2023
In 2022, the George Cross was awarded to the NHS in recognition of over 74 years of service, including the exceptional efforts of NHS staff across the country during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The critical care, theatres and anaesthetics department at University Hospital Southampton pulled together with support from Southampton Hospitals Charity, to provide a replica George Cross coin to mark this occasion with its staff.
Hannah Kedzia, Care Group Manager for Theatres and Critical Care said: “In total, over 1,300 of these coins were given out to our staff across all grades, from our doctors and nurses to the domestic staff and multi-disciplinary professionals that we work with.
They were behind us every step of the way throughout the pandemic, and we felt they deserved this recognition.
Our staff were truly overwhelmed by the gesture, with many being brought to tears. Here’s just one staff member’s comment:
“I just wanted to say thank you so much for our amazing gifts. I really am speechless. This has to be the most amazing thank you gift I’ve received, and I know that my team are all incredibly touched as well. Thank you.”
It just felt like the right thing to do to show our gratitude to our staff, coming about from the idea of emergency services challenge coins.
Each staff member was presented with a card containing words from the late HRH Queen Elizabeth II when she presented the George Cross to the NHS. This symbol was also on one side of the coin, with the other showing our workplace here in Southampton.
A massive thank you to Michaela Jones, Matron, who was the driving force behind this project!