The Daily Telegraph

Award NHS staff medals for long service, says Ellwood

- By Christophe­r Hope associate editor

NURSES should be awarded long-service medals by the King in the same way that police officers and firefighte­rs are honoured, a senior Conservati­ve MP says today.

Tobias Ellwood, chairman of the defence select committee, says it is time that NHS staff are treated the same as other frontline emergency workers.

In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, Mr Ellwood says that creating a new medal for doctors and nurses was about showing them respect, and suggests that the honour should be called “The King Charles Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct in the NHS”.

He says: “In our military, those who reach 15 years of service are awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. The police, fire, ambulance and even crime agency services have similar medals.

“While we applauded NHS staff during Covid, it might surprise people that they alone, of all this country’s public servants, are ineligible for national recognitio­n by the King. It is high time this anomaly was ended, by creating a Long Service and Good Conduct Medal for NHS staff.”

The Armed Forces’ Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct was first instituted by King George V in 1930.

Clasps are given for additional years of service and could apply to each further five years of service in the NHS.

Mr Ellwood, MP for Bournemout­h East, adds: “I cannot praise NHS staff enough. They work with a selfless dedication for their patients, yet appear not to be rewarded properly – either in their salaries or the respect they receive.”

A government spokesman said: “We hugely value all our NHS workers and are incredibly grateful for their tireless efforts to provide care for us all. That is why so many are routinely recognised in every honours list, reflecting the nation’s gratitude for their service.”

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