How well do you recall the ups and downs of the NHS in 2007? Test yourself with HSJ's seasonal quiz. And can you identify Santa's reindeers? Answers below

Noel Plumridge on finance

1 Which£22m spend, according to the Department of Health, was a 'small fraction of 1 per cent of the turnover' of the organisations involved and would be 'significantly' exceeded by resulting cost savings?

(a) Payments to management consultants under the turnaround programme

(b) Separation payments to chief executives

(c) Buy-out payments to suppliers under private finance initiative deals

2 Which organisation, in a 'first' for the NHS, acquired Birmingham's Good Hope Hospital trust in April?

(a) UnitedHealth Europe

(b) Monitor

(c) Heart of England foundation trust

3 Whose abortive private finance initiative scheme, worth nearly£1bn, collapsed in July?

(a) Paddington Health Campus

(b) University Hospitals of Leicester

(c) Barts and The London

4 When will the payment by results scheme be extended to include community nursing?

(a) Possibly in 2010, depending on the outcome of consultation

(b) As soon as a credible business case can be made

(c) Shortly before hell freezes over

5 'The former NWCS has now been replaced by SUS, which is provided by BT as contractor for the CfH spine programme.' Are we talking about:

(a) Civil liberties?

(b) Data management?

(c) Lower back pain?

6 What unpopular and discredited aspect of the NHS trust accounting regime was finally abolished in April 2007?

(a) Management cost targets

(b) Resource accounting and budgeting

(c) Brokerage

7 How long would you give practice-based commissioning?

(a) Forever

(b) Until it becomes world class

(c) Maybe another year or two?

8 Which English hospital trust spent more than 15 per cent of its total 2006-07 turnover on PFI repayments?

(a) Dartford and Gravesham

(b) Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich

(c) Bromley Hospitals

9 Over the first three years of the new NHS consultants' contract, pay rose by 27 per cent. But how far did consultant productivity rise?

(a) 27 per cent

(b) 10 per cent

(c) 1.5 per cent per year

10 In December 2006, NHS chief executive David Nicholson suggested a£250m NHS surplus in 2007-08 would be pretty good. How big will the 2007-08 surplus actually be?


(b) More than that

(c) A lot more than that

Hilary Thomas on medicine

1 The new health and social care bill will change the standard of proof required to strike off doctors and nurses. Previously accusations of malpractice had to use the criminal standard of proof and be proven beyond all reasonable doubt. The bill will allow for:

a) Decisions to be made on a balance of probabilities

b) Decisions to be made by a panel with a two-thirds majority of doctors

c) An independent adjudicator to decide cases on the basis of probability

d) Decisions to be made by a panel of two lay members and one doctor

2 In the Web 2.0 era how many NHS trusts have Facebook entries?

a) Around 150

b) Around 100

c) Around 50

d) Around 10

3 The age of deference is long gone, the age of reference has recently passed, we now have the age of

a) Reason

b) Participation

c) Communication

d) Collaboration

4 Which select committee recently criticised the government for increasing consultants' pay while allowing them to work fewer hours?

a) Health select committee

b) Home affairs

c) Public affairs

5 How many consultations with GPs or practice nurses happen each day in the NHS?

a) Approximately 850,000

b) Approximately 2 million

c) Approximately 300,000

d) Approximately 120,000

6 Which novel, written by a doctor and published in the 1930s, is said to have promoted dialogue about the severe inadequacies of healthcare, which influenced the founding of the NHS?

a) Country Doctor by A J Cronin

b) The Citadel by A J Cronin

c) Cakes and Ale: Or, The Skeleton in the Cupboard by W Somerset Maugham

d) Finnegans Wake by James Joyce

7 Who called for the establishment of a high-level representative body for the medical profession?

a) Sir John Tooke, dean of the Peninsula Medical School

b) Richard Smith, former editor of the BMJ

c) Sir Graeme Catto, president of the General Medical Council

d) Sir Liam Donaldson, chief medical officer

8 Who is the odd one out?

a) Sir Jonathan Miller

b) Lord David Owen

c) Harry Hill, comedian

d) Phil Hammond, comedian

Ali Mohammed on workforce

1 How many people work for the NHS?

a) 100,000

b) Don't know - because every statistic I read is different

c) Probably about 1.3 million

2 What is the approximate cost of sickness in the NHS each year?




3 MMC and MTAS were in our thoughts this year. What does MTAS stand for?

a) Modernising the application system

b) Mysterious time and attendance system

c) Medical training application service

4 What does NMC stand for?

a) Nurses making cheese

b) No more cutbacks

c) Nursing and Midwifery Council

5 What is the name of the body that agrees terms and conditions of employment across the NHS?

a) General Whitley Council

b) Unison and the RCN

c) NHS Staff Council

6 Which piece of legislation 'strikes again' on 1 August 2009?

a) Waiting list requirements

b) Worthless employee recognition act

c) Working time regulations

7 What is the name of the national enabling framework dealing with the performance of doctors that should have been translated into local policy by now?

a) Meaningless performance policy framework standard procedure

b) Unbelievably long, complicated medical performance document

c) Maintaining high professional standards

8 Who is the prominent doctor leading a national inquiry into junior medical training?

a) Booke

b) Crooke

c) Tooke

9 Which 'ism' occupied a large number of column inches in the HR professional journals earlier this year?

a) Sexism

b) Ageism

c) Racism

d) Fattism

10 Which senior NHS Employers figure was recently voted as one of the 50 most powerful and influential figures in health today?

a) Steve Barnett

b) Alastair Henderson

c) Sian Thomas

Jon Restell on trade unionism

1 What is the name of the new union created by this year's merger of TGWU and Amicus?

2 Before entering politics, Alan Johnson was general secretary of which British trade union?

3 Who is Jonathan Fielden?

4 Managers in Partnership is a joint venture between Unison and which other trade union?

5 Who is the general secretary of the TUC?

6 Name two recognised health unions that do not affiliate to the TUC.

7 The GMB sponsors which football club in the Nationwide Conference?

8 How many members belong to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy:

(a) 25,000

(b) 35,000

(c) 45,000

9 Unison national secretary; parliamentary candidate for Hornsey and Wood Green; 24th most influential person in healthcare. Who is it?

10 Name three UK countries that did not stage this year's NHS pay award.

Dave Lee on mental health

1 What is the connection between the Mental Health (Amendment) Act 1994 and section 45 of the Mental Health Act 2007?

2 What has been the change in the number of independent mental health hospital beds between 2003 and 2007?

a) up 1818

b) up 818

c) down 818

d) down 1818

3 What was the peak population of psychiatric hospitals, reached in 1954?

a) 52,000

b) 82,000

c) 152,000

d) 182,000

4 Which health minister once issued a DoH news release headed 'Enoch Powell was right'?

5 Which of the following people has never been a service user at Broadmoor Hospital?

a) Ronald Kray

b) Ian Brady

c) Henry Maudsley

d) Robert Maudsley

6 According to the World Health Organisation, how many of the 10 leading causes of disability of developed countries are mental illnesses?

7 Which organisation attempted to take over the National Association for Mental Health (Mind's predecessor) in 1969

a) the Militant Tendency

b) the Church of Scientology

c) the Royal College of Psychiatrists

d) the National Schizophrenia Fellowship

8 Who won the soaps category at the 2007 Mental Health Media awards?

a) EastEnders

b) The Archers

c) Hollyoaks

d) Holby City

9 How many of the current mental health foundation trusts were awarded just one star by the Commission for Health Improvement in 2002?

10 What percentage of the respondents to the 2007 Healthcare Commission mental health service users survey said they were in paid work?

a) 20 per cent

b) 30 per cent

c) 40 per cent

d) 50 per cent


Noel Plumridge

1 a) This is not to be confused with payments to consultants in the DoH commercial directorate, which at around£100,000 per day cost rather more than 1 per cent of turnover.

2 c) The takeover involved arrangements for handling Good Hope's accumulated debt.

3 b) The plug was pulled on the Leicester scheme, where estimated costs had escalated to an unaffordable£921m, in July. Chief executive Peter Reading went soon afterwards.

4 a, b and c) This year's consultation anticipates a diluted local version of payment by results for community nursing. It may still be possible to build a business case for moving to 'national currency and price' but that would require good information. And decent information on community nursing is confidently expected about the beginning of the next Ice Age.

5 b) The NHS-wide clearing service was replaced by the secondary uses service, provided by British Telecom under the Connecting for Health programme. 2007-08 is its first full year. Do try and keep up.

6 b) RAB, as it was known, had been roundly criticised by the Audit Commission for its double whammy effect.

7 a) Look, practice-based commissioning is here to stay. Is that clear?

8 a) No less than 19.2 per cent of Dartford and Gravesham's turnover goes on PFI charges. In 2008-09 this will cost£21.6m.

9) Not known. But we do know, thanks to the public accounts committee, that productivity actually fell by 0.5 per cent in the first year.

10) Almost certainly c. By September the 10 SHAs were already forecasting an embarrassing underspend of£1,458m. Time to prepare those bids for non-recurrent investment.

Hilary Thomas

1) c

2) b

3) b, this is according to Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz

4) c

5) a

6) b

7) b

8) d, all four trained in medicine but only Phil Hammond still practises

Ali Mohammed

1) c

2) c

3) c

4) c

5) c

6) c

7) c

8) c

9) d

10) c

Dave Lee

1) They both amended almost identical errors in primary legislation concerning the delegation of Mental Health Act manager powers.

2 a)

3 d)

4) Stephen Dorrell

5 c)

6) Eight

7 b)

8 b)

9) Four - Berkshire Healthcare, Cumbria Partnership, East London and the City and South Staffordshire Healthcare

10 a)

Jon Restell

1) Unite

2) CWU (Communication Workers Union )

3) Chair of the BMA consultants committee

4) The FDA (First Division Association)

5) Brendan Barber

6) Royal College of Nursing, BMA and Royal College of Midwives.

7) Woking Football Club

8) c)

9) Karen Jennings

10) Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland