Vow of silence for Dr Monk
By Steve LoweAttempts 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."