The Queen in the UK has given the country's highest award to its National Health Service (NHS). The NHS got a George Cross. This is a special medal for heroism and bravery. It is for the heroic efforts doctors, nurses and care staff made during the coronavirus pandemic. The Queen wrote a personal message to the NHS. She said she gave the award "with great pleasure, on behalf of a grateful nation". She added: "This award recognises all NHS staff.... In recent times, you have supported the people of our country with courage, compassion and dedication."
Many NHS workers are happy they have been recognised. However, many others would prefer a pay rise. The NHS has been on the front line in the fight against COVID-19. There has been great public support for a pay rise for nurses, but the government only gave workers a 1% increase. There were over 60 protests over the weekend for better pay. A doctor said: "We demand funding for a safe NHS and fair pay." A workers' union leader said: "The best way to show appreciation for health workers who have gone 'above and beyond' is to give them a decent pay rise."