Published: 21/03/2002, Volume II2, No. 5797 Page 89

How lovely to see the truly inspirational Nigel Crisp speaking at an NHS R&D conference the other week - Monitor is such a fan of Nigel's oeuvre . But a PowerPoint slide showing how NHS plan implementation had been based on the theory of a Harvard prof named Kotler seems to have upset a delegate or two. For the prof is better known - as an irate caller to the Monitor hotline points out - as Kotter 'with two tees'.

You have to be careful with these R&D types. 'If We are using research as a basis for what we do, we might get it right, ' splutters the indignant caller. His attention was also caught by Nigel's aim of 'early and continuing succession' - an interesting variant on the usual call for early and continuing successes. 'I wasn't sure whose succession he had in mind, ' Monitor's pal says, a touch acidly. Oh Nigel, Nigel, you're not planning to leave us, are you?

Meanwhile, Monitor was pleased to receive a glorious press release announcing the National Association of Primary Care's spring conference. It brought the exciting news that the setting - at the Royal College of Physicians - was 'a convenient and attractive venue'. All very charming, but Monitor has always felt that putting the date of your event on the press release helps attract visitors. The release also boasted that the conference chair would be 'the ubiquitous Roy Lilley'. Monitor has suggested before that Roy is the man for whom 'ubiquitous' was coined, but perhaps the NAPC might have avoided the phrase to make their event seem that little bit more special. Roy's ubiquity once stretched to membership of the NHS steering group on women's issues. Good to know the man who has admitted, 'I may not know my ass from my elbow, ' is well up on wimmin's things.

And finally a chart-busting entry in the quest for 'a Song for Alan' - music to cheer up poor health secretary Milgurn, of whom no known smiley pic exists.

A kindly soul has submitted folk-rocker Al Stewart's fabulous You Should have Listened to Al . A yearning, wistful voice sings: 'I want you to know I do not want you to go anyway; And yes I was doing alright up until now; I am beginning to think you should have listened to Al .' Indeed. More entries welcome to the e-mail address, left.