I am writing this on the day that marks the 75th anniversary of our most treasured national institution, the NHS. In 1948, the NHS became the first healthcare service in the world that was available to all and free at the point of care. This model has been the bedrock of the NHS since its inception and is a huge source of national pride.
Firstly, I want to take this opportunity to thank the many wonderful NHS staff across the South West, and especially right here in the Wells constituency, for all of the inspirational and life-changing work they do every day. Without the dedicated and caring people that make up our health service, it would not have become the institution it is today, and I am sure I speak for all my constituents by paying tribute to every member of NHS staff and saying that we are enormously grateful.
For many people, the NHS has always been there when they have needed it most, providing lifesaving care to family and friends and a support network in times of greatest need. But it has not been without change, and the last 75 years have seen the NHS adapt and evolve continuously to confront new health challenges. Clearly, there are pressures on NHS services, both following the pandemic but also as a result of changing demographics and health needs across the county, and it is important the NHS changes and adapts once again.
This will require a constant evolution and an embrace of technology and innovation to ensure that the NHS strives for continuing medical advancements, and is fit to deliver the best care to patients for another 75 years. That is why we must support the NHS with record numbers of investment and record numbers of doctors and nurses so that we can deliver a better NHS for staff and patients now, and be confident that the NHS will thrive for many years to come.