conference focus

Published: 30/05/2002, Volume II2, No. 5807 Page 13

'How many heartless bastards do you know who are working in paediatrics? By and large, they are delightful people who do not thump on the table or come knocking at your door.

I am going to change all that.'

Professor Al Aynsley-Green, national director of children's services, on a change in attitude to ensure care and treatment of children is given a high priority.

'I do not think people wake up each day and think: 'How can I foul up today in a new and innovative way?''

Dr James Bagian, director of the US Veterans national centre for patient safety, on how to harness the human desire to do good.

'Cats are agile, curious and respond well to affection.'

NHS Confederation policy director Nigel Edwards, suggesting some benefits are to be found in running a health service which over half of delegates likened to 'a load of cats'.

'A lot of staff feel they have done a lot of reforming.They have been in a state of Trotskyite permanent revolution.'

Paul Marks, Unison national secretary for health.

'If you do not hit those targets, prepare to go to the gulag.'

Alan Maynard, York University professor of health economics.