A campaign for a High Wycombe A&E to be returned to town has been labelled as “irresponsible” by MP Steve Baker as he claims reopening the old-styled department would lead to more deaths.

Six former High Wycombe mayors joined forces on Sunday to kick-start the long running Hand Back our Hospital campaign, calling on major improvements to Wycombe Hospital.

However, Wycombe’s MP says a return to an old A&E unit would be bad for people, compared to modern standards.

Mr Baker said: “The simple fact is the old-style of A&E department treated everything, but badly compared to modern standards.

“Those days are gone, and a good thing too, because the care we receive today is far better.

“The challenge is to make sure that people get the right care, in a timely way, close to home, in a way that commands public support and consent.

“But, merely to demand the return of an old-style A&E is irresponsible because more people would die in such a unit and that is why it’s not going to happen.”

The High Wycombe A&E department was closed in 2006 with residents in need of emergency care now forced to travel to either Stoke Mandeville Hospital or Wexham Park Hospital.

Despite strong support from the Bucks Free Press, residents and politicians, the doors of the town’s A&E have remained firmly shut.

Mr Baker said: “I know that what I’ve just told you represents a brave stand, but it is the stand I took at the General Election and it is the truth.

“It is the truth as I understand it. I am going to concentrate on encouraging all our NHS professionals who are responsible for it- encourage all of them to ensure we have the maximum amount of world class services in our town.”