Published: 10/01/2001, Volume 112, No. 5787 Page 116

Is my memory playing tricks on me ? The NHS is paying BUPA to clear waiting lists, but I am sure Mr Dobson said that was wrong as soon as he got his feet under the table and made lots of little charitable places close. Can you explain this U-turn?

Reverend, Amersham And just look what happened to him! Couldn't even organise a mayoral election. Honestly! It is true that Dobbo said some strange things, but President Blair soon sorted him out and called in Mr Milburn to get things back on track. He's done this extremely well and the NHS is running quite smoothly now, so That is alright. The real problem, of course, is that if experienced and professional staff have to leave the private sector to do the easy stuff in the NHS, people might have to wait for their operations in places like the Portland Clinic. This is a management problem and if the private sector can't sort it out, we'll have to send in NHS managers to bring their unique expertise to bear. Funny bloke that Mr Dobson, I wonder what he's doing now? Mind you, his jokes were good.

Maybe this was one of them.

I noticed in a recent Audit Commission report a statement that nonemergency transport was too 'finance driven'. How do you feel about this ?

Chauffeur, Herts

Well the new modern NHS is all about multi-skilling, is not it? Even I work as a therapist, journalist and parttime community warden, so get on board, buddy!

Seriously though, we all know there is a shortage of ambulance drivers so it makes sense to train other people, like finance staff (of whom there is not a shortage) to take over some of the less technical duties of ambulance drivers like- er- driving ambulances.

Indeed, finance staff are one of the most precious resources of the NHS because they can turn their hand to simply anything and are expert in most of them, That is why they're in charge of things overall.

Also, let's not forget that the NHS has to charge for some transport so it makes sense to have cashiers on hand, doesn't it? Overall, this sounds like a damn fine idea to me and I look forward to seeing accountants doing lots of other useful things in the future.