They are the backbone of the NHS. The doctors, nurses, and consultants who save lives every day with hardly a word of recognition.
Today, there is that acknowledgement as three Lothian health professionals are among the local names honoured in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Three names who represent the dedication and care of thousands of staff across Edinburgh and the Lothians.
And names who, in the case of Professor Mike Dixon in particular, demonstrate that there are world class services on offer on our doorstep.
Of course NHS Lothian is not without its high-profile problems and this newspaper is the first to hold it to account.
But amongst the concern over waiting times, staffing problems, and the seemingly endless problems over the PFI contract to run the ERI at Little France, we should not forget the health workers who do incredible things every day.
The ever-humble Professor Dixon tells us today he owes his OBE honour to his patients at the breast cancer unit in the Western General Hospital.
He has also dedicated it to all the people he has worked with over the years, saying “a good system is built from the bottom up. If you haven’t got someone to clean the theatre and the wards, the rest of it has had it.”
He – along with nurse consultant Alexandra Gray and director of pharmacy Patricia Murray – can be very proud today as they look forward to collecting their well-deserved honours.
But every other Lothian health worker can also take pride in their achievements and in the service they provide every day.
The headlines may not always have been positive for NHS Lothian over the past year but the commitment of frontline staff has never been in question.
In recognising three of the best today, we honour them all.