Skip to main content

The Science and Industry Museum in Manchester is open daily. Book your free tickets now.

Schools and groups can book tickets here.

You are here:

Star object: The NHS George Cross medal

See the George Cross medal awarded to the NHS by Queen Elizabeth II, on display until 2025. 

In 2021 the George Cross medal was awarded to the National Health Service (NHS) in England by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of the 'courage, compassion and dedication' of NHS staff and volunteers during the COVID pandemic.  

The George Cross is the UK's highest civilian gallantry medal, given for acts of great heroism or courage in circumstances of extreme danger. It is only the third time the George Cross has been given to a collective body, rather than an individual, and also commemorates the Health Service's work since it was established. 

2023 marked 75 years of the NHS.On the first day of the NHS in 1948, Aneurin (Nye) Bevan, health minister and founder of the NHS, symbolically launched Trafford General Hospital, Greater Manchester, as the first NHS hospital and visited the first NHS patients to be treated there.