Jeremy Corbyn landed in Bedford on Wednesday, and declared the NHS a key part of his election campaign.
The Labour leader said people’s biggest concern in the town centre had been the future of health services.
And he pledged that a Labour government would suspend the NHS’ Strategic Transformation Plan (STP) which is looking to downgrade A&E, maternity and paediatrics at either Bedford, Milton Keynes or Luton hospital.
Mr Corbyn said: “We have to ensure that there are good quality emergency services available for everybody, and that means not downgrading any of the three hospitals.
“Instead we have the STP which is turning into a bit of a nightmare.
“And just today I have been talking to NHS staff who are deeply concerned about our long-term ability to recuit doctors and nurses alike.
“That’s why one of our proposals is to restore the nurses’ bursary in the NHS.”
Mr Corbyn appeared alongside Cllr Mohammad Yasin, who was revealed as the Labour candidate for Bedford and Kempston and is interviewed on page 23. The Labour leader also pointed to education as a key issue for voters in the borough.
He said: “We are seeing huge cuts in school funding, not just in Bedford but across the whole country. The situation is appalling.
“It is a national disgrace that we have schools organising fundraising drives to do their work.
“We will lay out how we will tackle this in our manifesto.”