Everyone always forgets about the lab staffI think it's hard to differentiate within the NHS exactly who worked directly with Covid because potentially all patient fronting staff did.
Many of us may well have been in contact with Covid + without realising it.
Many staff volunteered to work with Covid + in the various accessory ICUs and Nightingale Hospitals but were never needed
The risks to NHS is actually low due to the PPE, in fact it should be nil if the PPE us worn correctly.
But yes, it is a political gesture, it is not necessary and it does leave many others who worked on equally throughout the pandemic unrewarded.