NHS Wales awarded highest honour by the Queen
The Queen presented the George Cross to NHS Wales Chief Executive Judith Paget and Intensive Care Consultant Dr Ami Jones at a ceremony in Windsor Castle today (12 July).
They received the award on behalf of the entire team of NHS Wales workers - the nurses, doctors, cleaners, paramedics, porters, therapists - in recognition of their courage, compassion and skill.
The Queen was accompanied by the Prince of Wales for the presentation.
Judith Paget said:
“I’m honoured to join Dr Jones to accept the George Cross on behalf of the NHS in Wales.
“It is the UK’s highest civilian gallantry medal which recognises the dedicated service shown by the NHS since it was set up 74 years ago including the great courage, devotion and duty that staff displayed during the pandemic.
“I saw the bravery of the staff who are the heartbeat of the NHS in caring for our friends and family at first hand. This is a great honour and a great day for all who work and who have worked for the NHS in Wales.”
Dr Ami Jones, Intensive Care Consultant at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, said:
“It gives me enormous pride to join Judith in representing all staff across NHS Wales to accept the George Cross medal.
“As someone who serves in the Military, I appreciate that only the very best receive this medal and our amazing NHS staff are certainly worthy recipients.
“Our staff would have never imagined that such a daunting pandemic would take place in their lifetimes, but they put their own fears aside to provide excellent care to their patients and find solutions to the unprecedented problems that they faced on a daily basis.”
First Minister Mark Drakeford said:
“This is a moment that all NHS staff in Wales can be extremely proud of for their dedication to providing health services in the toughest of circumstances.
“From the birth of the NHS in Tredegar 74 years ago, NHS Wales staff have always been there to treat, care and help us and our families at our times of greatest need.
“When they were faced with the biggest public health threat in our lifetime at the start of the pandemic they stepped up with great courage and expertise which I’m delighted has been recognised with the awarding of the George Cross.”
Notes to editors
The Queen, accompanied by The Prince of Wales, presented the George Cross to representatives from the frontline of the health services of all four Home Nations. The health workers were accompanied by their Chief Executives.
Photographs from the event are available from the Press Association.
Judith Paget is the Director General for Health and Social Services and the NHS Wales Chief Executive.
Before starting her current role in November last year, Judith was the Chief Executive of Aneurin Bevan University Health Board from 2014.
Dr Ami Jones
Originally from Shropshire, Dr Ami Jones MBE is an Intensive Care Consultant with Aneurin Bevan University Health Board. Ami is also a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserves with 203 Field Hospital and has undertaken two tours of duty in Afghanistan on MERT (the military pre-hospital service).
Ami has been a part of the EMRTS Cymru (Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service Cymru) since its inception in 2015, as a consultant on board the aircraft as well as being the South Wales Base Lead. In May 2017, she became the interim National Director of the Service.
In June 2017, Ami was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to the military and the Wales Air Ambulance.