LABOUR leader Jeremy Corbyn visited Swindon this morning to talk about the mammoth problems facing the NHS.

He spoke to healthcare workers, campaigners and service users at Park South Community Centre and claimed to have “learnt a great deal from it”.

He addressed such issues as suicide, low pay among care home workers and the need for more people to be in receipt of better quality social care.

“Suicide is the biggest killer of young men in our society, and if that’s not a wake up call, what is?” he said.

He met South Swindon’s recently-selected parliamentary candidate Sarah Church and representatives from public services union UNISON.

He also spoke to NHS workers in a bid to address problems such as the lack of mental health provision, nurses relying on foodbanks to survive and the crisis in social care.

Chippenham-born Corbyn said: “It is no longer a winter crisis, it is a 12-month crisis in the NHS.

“The prime minister told the House of Commons that the NHS was fully prepared for all eventualities over winter. That was three weeks ago. We have had three weeks of crisis.”

He pledged more funds, the return of nursing bursaries and the creation of a National Care Service, if Labour wins power.

Mr Corbyn said pressures on ambulance services, as well as accident and emergency wards, were part of a “wider problem”.

Nurses told him of patients spending 12 hours in chairs while waiting for beds, with up to 20 people in corridors at a time.

Reflecting on the morning meeting, he said: “I learnt about the stresses the hospital is under and the problems exacerbated by the PFI contracts.”

He also spoke about the need to reduce the number of people stuck in beds in hospital when they should be in a care facility.

Sarah Church, who was recently selected to fight the South Swindon seat at the next general election, was pleased to hear the leader’s thoughts on healthcare.

She spoke of the need to look beyond the statistics and reach out to NHS workers and users.

She said: “If you as a member of staff are reduced to tears and can’t do your job properly, then that is a serious problem. We know there has been a big rise in demand for health services, but it is not just about pouring more money in, it’s about investing in people.”