Nick Clegg praised Watford’s new Health Campus plans today during a stop-off in the Liberal Democrat battle bus.

The Liberal Democrat leader was joined by Watford’s elected mayor and parliamentary candidate, Dorothy Thornhill, while he visited the Health Campus site in Cardiff Road, and was shown the full plans for the £300 million development which will provide thousands of square feet of new hospital, housing and industrial space.

"You just have to look up the hill at the 60-year-old building to know that Watford need a major health campus, and it’s finally going to happen," he said.

"This is the kind of thing you want to see across the country - disused land which could be put to better use, not just by the way for the possible expansion of the hospital and the health facilities here, but if you look at the plans there’s going to be a mix of housing, lots of greenery, there’s going to be improved transport links and they’re going to expose the river more fully.

"It’s going to be a very attractive place to live as well as work which I think will be very exciting."

When quizzed about the failings of the West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust and what the people of Watford can expect from the new campus, he said: "They’re doing this review at the moment to decide exactly how they want to expand the hospital site at the top of the hill.

"My understanding is that the review will be submitted to the commissioning group in the autumn - it’s for them to take a decision.

"But what I’m very keen that they should do, is they should take a decision which integrates the needs of the local area not just in terms of the hospital facilities but also mental health facilities and social care facilities.

"If they can really plan with a future in mind where people are looked after as human beings, and aren’t put in either hospital care, mental care or social care, that will be a really good thing for the community, and it would allow the health facilities here in Watford to really leapfrog many health facilities around the country.

"I think that thinking is being reflected in the review."

Mrs Thornhill said she was "proud" to show Mr Clegg the campus.

"I think it’s only when you stand down here that you actually realise that what we’ve got planned for Watford is transformational and it really is an outstanding scheme that involves jobs and homes and new hospital buildings, and I think that is coming closer to reality now as we’ve started building the road, " she said.

"I just wanted him to see what Lib Dems can do when they’ve got their hands on the levers of power, that we can do good things."