This month marks the 75th anniversary of the National Health Service – an extraordinary institution that still touches all our lives decades after it was formed.

We all have stories of how it has helped us when we needed it the most, how it has looked after us and our families from the cradle to the grave.

We simply cannot imagine life without it. But as we celebrate and reflect upon the amazing things our NHS and its staff do on a daily basis, let us not forget that the NHS is being tested like never before.

We must stop and take stock. We must ask the question: what will the NHS look like in the next 75 years?

When Tredegar’s Nye Bevan formed the NHS in 1948, his vision was nothing short of revolutionary. His unshakeable values were rooted in the practical reality that Nye had learnt growing up in Tredegar at a time of economic, industrial, and social turmoil.

We too find ourselves living through tumultuous times – the aftermath of Covid, the cost of living crisis and the war in Ukraine. Let us also not forget the devastating impact that the years of austerity have had on our public services. The NHS has faced unprecedented challenges over recent years and there are problems to be overcome.

The decisions we make now must be driven by our values, Nye’s values.

But we have to go further than that. We must explore even more revolutionary opportunities and possibilities in our ambition for a renewed and reinvented NHS.

Let us look towards the possibilities open to us in terms of technological advances.

Artificial Intelligence is already helping doctors interpret x-rays and scans and can be used to pinpoint treatment.

Technology can help set up virtual wards to enable minor ailments to be remotely monitored and treated. Advances in genetics can offer more personalised and specific treatments. This will help us modernise the NHS, cut waiting lists and keep providing world class health care.

At the same time local councils are investing in social care – this week we helped launch a new community meals service in Blaenau Gwent. In the future these services will need to be delivered seamlessly.

The Welsh Government will continue to protect the NHS; there is no privatisation of the service, no profiteering from suffering or illness and the protecting of health and social care from the worst of austerity. We are investing in new hospitals and health centres. The Grange Hospital opened in 2020 and The Bevan Health and Wellbeing Centre in Tredegar is due to open later this year.

In celebrating 75 years of taking care of us, our families and communities, let us celebrate not simply an institution, but the people and the services it delivers for people up and down Wales.

Let us ensure that we mark this anniversary by redoubling our efforts to meet Bevan's vaulting ambitions for the people of this country.