Bedford‘s MP Mohammad Yasin has backed this paper’s campaign calling on health bosses to keep their hands off our hospital.
The T&C revealed last month that plans were underway to merge Bedford with Luton & Dunstable into a single trust split across the two sites.
And while health bosses have said clinical services such as A&E, maternity and paediatrics will remain - they have steered clear of long term assurances for their future and what the departments would look like.
And Mr Yasin, four months into his role as an MP, has backed the Hands Off Bedford Hospital campaign, which is demanding assurances over these services.
Mohammad exclusively told the T&C: “We have been given assurances that clinical services will stay in Bedford, but we cannot take this for granted and will be keeping an eye on it.
“I have met almost everybody involved in this since becoming an MP, and the first thing I did in office was to write to ministers.”
But the MP admits that the responses he has had back from his parliamentary colleagues haven’t yet cut the mustard, and he will continue to put pressure on.
“It’s been frustrating not getting answers back,” he said. “I grab them when I see them in parliament and ask where my reply is, because they can take weeks.
“Jeremy Hunt came back with a long letter with nothing of worth in it.”
Jenny Feneley, who helped found our campaign last month, had previously told the T&C that “people who suffer a heart attack in Bedford don’t want to travel all the way down to Luton.”
And Mr Yasin, a former taxi driver, can relate to that more than most.
His wife Shakila suffered a heart attack at their home four years ago.
Mr Yasin said: “The kids came in from school and she basically had the attack by the front door.
“The ambulance came within five minutes and the wonderful staff at the hospital saved her life. I can’t find enough ways to thank the staff.
“As a Councillor and now as an MP I have fought to keep vital services at Bedford Hospital.
“I’ll keep pressing for those continued assurances that our services will remain in Bedford - both from the Government and from NHS bosses, and I am pleased the Times & Citizen have launched a campaign to keep up that pressure.”