Published: 18/04/2002, Volume II2, No. 5801 Page 113
Monitor has always believed in a frank approach to - you know - the giggly things in life. And in an age where the number of teenage pregnancies and the incidence of sexually transmitted infections are rising, It is time to come clean about, erm, public health-related thingies. So how worrying it is to find that at the very pinnacle - the climax, perhaps - of public healthdom is the chief medical officer that dare not speak his name. In a burst of technological enthusiasm, Monitor has logged on to the CMO website. 'Chief Medical Officer' runs the homepage headline, sensibly enough. Underneath is a picture of a jolly red-haired chap and a charming explanatory paragraph. But the nice red-haired chap has been anonymised above and beyond the call of adverse incident reporting procedures, Monitor feels. Could it be Professor Sir L*am D*n*lds*n? Monitor hates to get into naming and shaming, but this is a matter of public health.
More exciting news from cyberspace from a diligent quality checker who looked at the National Patient Safety Agency's website. Apparently, it helpfully includes a button for 'frequently asked questions'. Monitor's friend clicked away, only to find a largely blank screen informing him:
'There are no frequently asked questions.' Monitor is shocked that no-one is inquisitive about the fascinating NPSA, and suggests brightening up the page with a question often overheard among bemused managers:
'Remind me again, what's the difference between the NPSA, NCAA, NPAT, NICE and all the other new bodies with confusing initials?' Monitor wanted to see for himself - but sadly the site was unavailable, despite many attempts to log on. Ringing in didn't work as directory enquiries had no record of the NPSA - all a bit worrying.
And now mobile telephones. Here's some top advice from The Times , which on 9 April brought the happy news that 'Texting is good 4 U'. Hooray! cries Monitor. But what's this? Another article sounds a warning: 'When text messaging can be bad for your health.' Also from The Times on 9 April, funnily enough. As the latter item says: 'Mobile phones have not been without their share of controversy. . .'