Published: 05/09/2002, Volume II2, No. 5812 Page

Monitor is in receipt of a letter from one of the finest wordsmiths in NHSery - a particularly innovative missive from head of capacity and choice Bob Ricketts. In a bid to encourage go-ahead types to get overseas clinical teams over here pronto, Mr Ricketts has gone for the very newest of the new in the forward-looking stakes. For he is not one of those old-fashioned types who set up pilot projects. Oh no. Nor is there an early implementer or pathfinder scheme in sight. Instead, Bob is looking for bids to set up 'first-mover' projects. Monitor wonders whether Bob thought of this himself or whether one of those forward strategy unit thingies buried in Richmond House coined the phase - one that can only be described as at the leading edge of cuttingness - on his behalf. Would-be first movers should be warned, however: Mr Bob's letter also explains that experience with overseas teams in the UK 'can provide headroom for process engineering'. Monitor was quite alarmed at this as he had been led to believe they were coming here for something to do with hip replacements.

Continuing the new theme, Monitor brings you the latest from the New Health Network, that happy band of ultra-modernisers who - if not actually in Tuscany or a French chateau themselves - can at least sunbathe in the radiance of Tony Blair's smile. For after only three years of existence, the network has produced a sort of magazine called, erm, Network . And boy, do they know how to tell it like it is. ''Modernisation' is in danger of becoming just a buzz word, ' Network warns, slightly belatedly. But never fear, the NHN heroes are on hand to save us from this terrible fate - and Monitor can only be impressed with people who can unblushingly declare: 'We are realistic evangelists.' Makes saying 'I am a moderniser' seem almost normal.

Monitor was concerned, however, at his lack of general new-ness, catching up on Network somewhat after its July issue date. But the realistic evangelists, in a nod to less than innovative oldies, have shown There is no need to be overmodern. Indeed they offer a delightful item reporting the results of the network's pre-Budget survey. Half of respondents prioritised 'increased capacity for extra investment', Network reveals. So now you know.