Well, Monitor has learnt something new this week! And hacks and hackettes of the good ship HSJ are kicking themselves after their sister magazine beat them to the scoop of the century. In a revelation worthy of Woodward and Bernstein, Nursing Times uncovered the TRUTH about nurses and sex. Apparently, the fantasy of women dressed up - get this - as nurses is a bit of a 'turn on' for the lads. In the spirit of investigative journalism, Monitor read on. One E-grade nurse 'revealed an unexpected fringe benefit' of her job: 'If I want to turn my husband on, I make a point of coming home from work in uniform and wear stockings, never tights.' Cor!
'I know several colleagues who have discovered the same effect, ' she added saucily.
Monitor was astounded to discover the popularity of such perversions, the like of which he had literally never before come across. Kind friends alerted him to the presence of the Internet, and a quick search for 'nurse' + 'sex' found 454,029 pages. Good Lord, there are more than a few perverts out there. An array of sites included 'Sexy nurse' and a Spanish site which appeared to offer nurse sex along with 'midget sex' and treats too rude to mention in a family read like HSJ. An NT editorial is at pains to explain that 'nurses, love and sex might appear to be a titillating subject' (you can say that again) but in fact the responsible publication is actually 'highlighting a serious problem'.
In what might be construed as a bit of a slur on the millions of attractive young nurses bouncing around beds near you, NT suggests that 'nurses take so much of their work home with them that they are irritable, preoccupied and lack sex drive'. Monitor would like to reassure readers that NHS managers may be grey-haired, middle-aged, and a bit prone to bandy the word 'strategic' about during the act itself, but no-one could ever suggest they are not sexy. Next week, HSJ will be exclusively revealing the impact of the French maid outfit on hotel and catering.
Speaking of people who are so damn powerful they just must be a bit raunchy, do not tell anyone, but Monitor has had a call on the 'hot' red telephone from Confed chief Stephen Thornton. In a hushed whisper the man we codename Thornton denies that he is a friend of ex-MI5 boss Stella Rimmington, as alleged by a renegade mole in HSJ last month. Our man in Chapter Street does admit to an encounter with an espionage expert, in fact, but It is not Dame Stella. Unfortunately, he can't reveal the spy's true identity, as It is top secret.
Awaiting further intelligence by invisible ink e-mail, however, Monitor recalls the advice of hero hack John Pilger: 'Never believe anything until it has been officially denied. . .'
But we can't all be power-crazed strategists (Stephen, old boy, It is a compliment). For those non-executive directors among you propping up the NHS and talking about it at dinner parties, one lady in particular stands out from the crowd. Stand up Jane Hore (see left), chair designate of Lowestoft primary care trust, whose resemblance to the BBC's fave dominatrix has not gone unremarked. Jane Hore, this may be your strongest link to fame.
Meanwhile, down in the bowels of local newspapers, shy young journalists trying to turn NHS trust vision statements into cracking lead stories are finding new ways to write about money problems. The Worthing Argus is a particular find - recognising as it does that the average reader makes unsavoury associations between deficits and potty training, it has found other ways to explain to the ignorant what it means when the commissioning body is feeling a bit cash-strapped. East Sussex, Brighton and Hove health authority is having to draw on its surplus funds to tackle its deficit. Or as the Argus more sweetly puts it: 'Piggybank cash to save hospital cuts.' Monitor only hopes that readers are not expecting the managers themselves to forgo their own pocket money.
And finally, has The Mirror made a mountain out of a molehill? 'I DIDN'T SQUEEZE SPOTS FOR FUN' it shouted last month. The exclusive story reveals that nurse Alison Biddlecombe is one of two nurses at a BUPA private hospital in Pentwyn, Wales, suspended after squeezing the spots of a patient recovering from an operation. Monitor is in no way suggesting that there is a widespred tendency among nurses in private hospitals to molest pouting pimples, but even so the story will not do sales of Clearasil any harm. Bizarrely, The Mirror points out that Nurse Biddlecombe lives in a newly built detached house.