The NHS reached its 75th anniversary

In Westminster Abbey, a service was held to mark the occasion. Thousands of NHS workers attended: some dressed up in smart summer dress and suits, others preferring to wear their NHS uniform.

We heard testimony from Dame Elizabeth Anionwu, the UK’s first sickle-cell nurse, and about a group of doctors who launched an astonishing rescue mission for hundreds of sick children with cancer from the middle of a war-zone in Ukraine.

Later at the NHS parliamentary awards, our local West Herts Hospital Trust was shortlisted for being the first in the country to set up a “virtual ward”.

It’s an amazing innovation that has reduced re-admissions and made it possible for patients to recover in their own homes, whilst being monitored 24/7 in real-time.

I saw another amazing innovation during a tour of Addenbrooke's Hospital. A new live-stream system enables consultants in Cambridge to monitor babies remotely from some hospitals around East Anglia.

This helps to treat the baby closer to home but if a baby's condition deteriorates, the team can see this in real-time and quickly transfer the baby by ambulance to a more specialised neonatal critical care unit.

But innovation isn’t just about technology. This year it was a group of Therapy Dogs and their humans who won the new NHS volunteer category and stole the show!

Here in St Albans, I popped up to our local hospital to thank staff and to see the progress on the site’s transformation.

The newly opened Urgent Care Hub is up-and-running and providing same-day appointments, for those referred on by their GPs or 111.

And it was also great to see progress on the site for new diagnostic facilities that will be coming to the hospital.

Within the next 12 months, St Albans residents will have access to a first-class one-stop cancer diagnostic service, where those with suspected cancer will be able to see a consultant, have a scan, receive a diagnosis and leave with a date for treatment all in one day.

Talk about the state of the NHS and speculation about its future will continue, but it was good to take stock of the extraordinary innovations that are happening and to say to all those who work in the NHS: thank you for all you do.