Sunday, 4 March 2007

Latest news

Today's Bedfordshire on Sunday newspaper carried the following story. In case any readers are worried, I can assure them that I remain alive and well, but clearly I have got a few people rattled (and since I get on very well with the senior managers in my hospital, I presume that they are being leaned on by the Department of Health)

Vow of silence for Dr Monk

By Steve Lowe

Attempts are being made to gag a senior consultant at Bedford Hospital from talking to the media - about the hospital crisis.

Dr Barry Monk is standing for Parliament on the single issue of saving Bedford Hospital, where he works as the chief consultant dermatologist.

The management of Bedford Hospital has written to Dr Monk about him making statements to the press and TV over the financial crisis at the hospital.

The letter says that his statements have given a poor impression of the hospital and he has not followed normal procedure if he has concerns over the way the hospital is being run.

Dr Monk has been warned that this behaviour may lead to disciplinary action and has been asked to attend a meeting to discuss the matter.

He is being allowed to bring a friend or colleague to the meeting.

Dr Monk admitted he had received a letter but said he had no comment to make, which seemed the wisest course of action at the moment.

A Bedford Hospital spokesman said: "We are not attempting to gag Dr Monk or any other member of staff at the Trust. All staff are expected to abide by the hospital policies and therefore we are discussing with Dr Monk how comments have been portrayed in the media in a way that has caused unnecessary anxiety to patients and the public. Dr Monk received a private letter to this effect."


Julie said...

Hi Barry,

I'm quite sure that the health board would never do anything as uncouth as 'gag' its consultants. Don't let the b**s get you down; keep going.
I'm fighting a similar battle up in Scotland; our local A&E, Monklands hospital is being shut. I'm running in the Scottish Elections. John Reid's constituency is just next door in Airdrie, and Gordon Brown's seat is in Dunfermline, where they are also trying to shut an A&E. If we give them a big enough fright in these elections, they might back down by the Westminster ones. Anyway, you can see my blog at, and I'll add your's to my list. Best of luck!


barry monk said...

Thanks for your posting, Julie. I recommend your campaign website, and wish you all the best.

Dr Rant said...

Well done Barry!

My Team and I are avidly watching developments in Bedford.

Any action forthcoming with regards to the Local elections in May?

We will soon be covering your campaign on our site, but are just fine tuning the format!