Sir David Nicholson appeared to go into June on a relative high. He’d had a recent holiday, his retirement was decided, and as a result there had been an abating of the opprobrium from elements of the press and body politic.

He could even have been described as ebullient as he went to his beloved NHS Confederation conference armed with bold announcements.

So it must have seemed particularly cruel when the news dropped of the surprise return to the health service of former arch rival, one Bill Moyes. Moyes - who as a bold Monitor executive chair 2003-2010 had been Sir David’s main sparring partner - has been appointed chair of the General Dental Council.

For alignment’s sake let’s hope the Nicholson retirement plan includes chairing a professional regulator.