Steve Baker defends hospital stance after attack from ex-Tory mayor

Mr Hayday (left) and Mr Baker (right) meeting Andrew Lansley in 2009

Mr Hayday (left) and Mr Baker (right) meeting Andrew Lansley in 2009

First published in News by

MP Steve Baker has defended his stance on Wycombe Hospital after ex-Conservative mayor Darren Hayday accused him of ‘making warm fussy noises and sitting on the fence’.

In a letter to the Bucks Free Press this week, former councillor Mr Hayday complains that politicians and NHS officials have failed to listen to public concern over the loss of specialist services from Wycombe.

He wrote: “Is our local MP [Steve Baker] standing up for us and demanding a return to our lost services such as the maternity and accident and emergency wards? No he is not.

“He is playing the same hand as he did over the stadium fiasco. He makes some warm fussy noises but stays very much with sitting on the fence and not standing up for us.”

But Mr Baker, Tory MP for Wycombe, said: “Some criticisms are unreasonable, and I think it’s unreasonable to say we should be demanding A&E and maternity back.

“Of course I want them back but it would be misleading the public to pretend that we can get them back.

“I’ve stayed away from the approach traditionally taken of running around making as much noise as possible. That would be a disservice to the public... I’m not going to lie to the public.

“Within the bounds of reason we did everything we could to do the best for the public.”

Though Mr Baker wrote in a recent blog post that he, along with other campaigners, had resisted the recent downgrade of Wycombe’s emergency room “to our utmost”, he told the BFP this was written while he was angry about an ‘incendiary’ NHS leaflet which publicised the change (see related links).

He admits that more direct action could have been taken against the downgrade, but only if he had been prepared to "mislead the public about the prospects of success".

He added: “I had to make a decision when the proposals came up and I’ve tried to be honest with the public.

“I know the NHS isn’t going to give them what they want, because not to close the Emergency Medical Centre would have flown in the face of what the health professionals are saying.”

However, Mr Baker does have concerns about the way the consultation process for the recent changes was carried out (see related links).

Last week he joined fellow members of campaign group Save Our Hospital Services as they met a senior NHS official to discuss these concerns.

Comments (5)

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12:19pm Fri 9 Nov 12

Stalemate says...

Ah, a Tory get together, where was the piccy taken, North Wales?
Ah, a Tory get together, where was the piccy taken, North Wales? Stalemate
  • Score: 0

1:08pm Fri 9 Nov 12

Welwyn Dowd says...

Time for a Yog comment?
Time for a Yog comment? Welwyn Dowd
  • Score: 0

1:08pm Fri 9 Nov 12

Welwyn Dowd says...

Time for a Yog comment?
Time for a Yog comment? Welwyn Dowd
  • Score: 0

12:23am Sat 10 Nov 12

Voyeur says...

If Wycombe District Council had encouraged more house building in the area, there would be more younger families and more need for infrastructure including hospital services for younger people. WDC has not done that but Aylesbury did and so they get the maternity services and other services targeted at the younger families. Wycombe gets the services targeted at older people, more in keeping with the aging population, encouraged by the Tories on WDC.
If Wycombe District Council had encouraged more house building in the area, there would be more younger families and more need for infrastructure including hospital services for younger people. WDC has not done that but Aylesbury did and so they get the maternity services and other services targeted at the younger families. Wycombe gets the services targeted at older people, more in keeping with the aging population, encouraged by the Tories on WDC. Voyeur
  • Score: 0

12:30pm Sat 10 Nov 12

Scarletto says...

Sadly, Mr Baker tends to face all directions depending on who he meets.
It's a scandal our A&E dept has been reduced to almost nothing with us having to dangerously, and life threateningly, travel further to get emergency treatment if we're in pain, distressed and badly hurt or seriously ill. So don't kid us with a load of flannel, Mr B. Take a firm line in our interests. Our 999 services have worsened. No doubt about it. It will cost lives. Sad to see him act in this way.
Sadly, Mr Baker tends to face all directions depending on who he meets. It's a scandal our A&E dept has been reduced to almost nothing with us having to dangerously, and life threateningly, travel further to get emergency treatment if we're in pain, distressed and badly hurt or seriously ill. So don't kid us with a load of flannel, Mr B. Take a firm line in our interests. Our 999 services have worsened. No doubt about it. It will cost lives. Sad to see him act in this way. Scarletto
  • Score: 0

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