People tell me I am good at predictions, so here is my month by month forecast for 2010.


Pictures circulate of the families of Monitor’s Bill Moyes and Unison’s Mike Jackson enjoying a skiing holiday together. Both men angrily demand a private life, although insiders confirm this has been going on for years. “Sharing a chalet has proved to be both cost effective and enormous fun.”

Virtual HR Department avoids costly outsourcing to hubs and top end subscribers also get Virtual HR Director - a hologram based on Sian Thomas - for use at board meetings

The senior salaries review body recommends freezing NHS executives until economic conditions improve. Scientists argue about whether this can be done safely.


The government unveils plans for 72.5 primary care trusts and five strategic health authorities in England.

“The final, perfect configuration of our NHS, to last a generation,” proclaims health secretary Andy Burnham.

Officials confirm “generation” means two years, in the normal way.

The NHS Confederation queries the merger of North West and South East Coast regions: “This will only work if the headquarters of the new All Points SHA are in Birmingham.”

Policy director Nigel Edwards says: “The half-a-PCT is an exciting innovation whose time has come.”

The PCT Network later puts out a correction: “The half-a-PCT is an exciting innovation whose time has yet to come.”


University College London Hospitals Foundation Trust mounts an audacious hostile takeover bid against itself. Over at the cooperation and competition panel, the news leaves even Lord Carter bewildered: “What’s going on? This is bonkers, isn’t it?” Panel members shrug shoulders.


The election campaign hots up. The parties outbid each other over how many more managers they will employ if they win power. Sensation as Social Policy Association president Polly Toynbee comes out for the small state. With the zeal of the convert she wants health insurance and less than 15 per cent of national income spent in the public sector. On the Today programme, an emotional David Cameron attacks Toynbee as the “unacceptable face of civil society”.


New health secretary stuns everybody by saying the government has no 100 day plan for the NHS and “Do Pretty Much Nothing (for at least three years)” is the main policy of the new Department of Public Health.


The Sun announces its hunt for Britain’s best loved NHS manager: “Sick and tired with all the moaning about the suits? We are - and so are our readers. Let’s celebrate the best of our brave bureaucrats, instead of knocking ‘em down all the time.”

The paper also sets up a “Shop a Nurse” hotline.


Management is in meltdown everywhere, as Do Pretty Much Nothing begins to bite.

Thousands of managers join the “Give Us Guidance” march through central London to protest about the lack of any new assurance frameworks.


As they open a polyclinic together, health minister and former Watchdog presenter Lynn Faulds Wood tongue-lashes British Medical Association chair Hamish Meldrum in public. She doesn’t like him saying John Lewis style partnerships will undermine primary care by giving too many people a stake in the business. He denies saying this and sues her for behaving unpleasantly.


Another national newspaper clambers aboard the pro-manager bandwagon. The Daily Mail campaigns for the proper job evaluation of NHS boardroom posts: “It’s utterly shocking and frankly disgusting to know the sickening truth: some primary care trusts are badly exposed to the risk of equal pay claims.”


Lord Britnell, chair of the independent board, announces the NHS in England will abandon the commissioner/provider split (“all a ghastly mistake”) and adopt the Scottish single system. Shocked SNP ministers respond straight away by ordering the marketisation of Scotland’s health and social care system.

“The private sector is now our preferred provider,” says a spokesman for the Scottish government.


NHS Employers launches its latest online offering, Virtual HR Department, with the slogan: “It’s totally like we’re there in person.” Virtual HR Department avoids costly outsourcing to hubs and top end subscribers also get Virtual HR Director - a hologram based on Sian Thomas - for use at board meetings.


NHS productivity has risen by a whopping 10 per cent in the six months to December. Panicked by the success of its policy, the government abandons Do Pretty Much Nothing. A senior adviser explains: “Yes, it was working. But outcomes aren’t everything - process matters, too.”

Festive fun to one and all!