RISE IN TEEN SEX: Sex services cannot cope with demand! So boomed last week's Hackney Gazette, conjuring up images of exhausted managers unable to keep up with the voracious appetites of the young. Dully, though, the story turns out to be to do with the rising problem of teenage pregnancy. But the plucky paper wasn't going to let the fun stop there! Cue a well placed special offer for buns in your oven to run alongside the story.
It is no laughing matter, though. And the offer for hot cross buns wasn't afraid to tackle the issues that really count. 'Buy six, get another six free', says the ad, bringing to mind some of the complex risks around IVF. By the time Monitor spotted a competition with 'sauce sets' to be won on the very same page, he was beginning to see why the young people of the East End could be forgiven for a tendency to randiness.
Still, the young could take lessons in stamina from those people formerly known as elderly. Eighty-eight-year-old George Goodwin could certainly teach them a thing or two! (no, not like that). For Mr Goodwin spent over three weeks in a store cupboard at Basildon Hospital in Essex while recovering from a broken ankle. He was given a hand bell to attract nursing staff to the store room which housed his bed. A spokeswoman for Basildon and Thurrock Hospitals trust confirmed that he had been kept on his own for three and a half weeks, but insisted he had been left in a 'treatment room'. She told the Essex Chronicle: 'When hospital beds are all occupied, it is often considered better that patients are admitted into treatment rooms within wards, rather than having to wait in a less acceptable environment. ' So what does George have to say on the subject? 'The staff at Basildon were wonderful. I just didn't like the accommodation. ' Fair enough.
It is not like Monitor to feel too sorry for the BMA. But a plaintive press release last week really tugged at the heartstrings. BMA News has learned that the Department of Health was 'in such a rush to refer doctors named in a high-profile inquiry to the General Medical Council that it included four people not even on the medical register'! A frightening thought, reckons Monitor, who had always hoped his lack of medical qualifications would save him from any risk of being struck off.
There are few things that keep Monitor awake at night. But the demise of the cravat remains one of them. So imagine his despair when it turned out that two members of HSJ's staff had been saluted for their sartorial skills. Still, there was a hint of light at the end of the tunnel. Letters addressed to HSJ editor Peter Davies and news focus editor Laura Donnelly (hardly noted for their fashionista tendencies) have identified both of them as 'deputy style editor' of this dashing mag. Which appears to leave a senior vacancy Monitor is more than suited to fill.
Meanwhile, in the West Midlands, Birmingham health authority is leading a campaign to raise awareness of the health risks of marrying your first cousin. Obviously, every campaign needs a slogan. Something pithy, to ram the point home. But the cautious nature of this campaign suggests it may not end up on a T-shirt near you. Here's the slogan in full: 'We are not saying do not marry your first cousins (surely one cousin is enough! ) but we want you to be aware of the risks. It is then your decision. ' Catchy.
On a related matter (no, not in that way, It is a Brum thing) good to see junior health minister and Birmingham Edgbaston MP Gisela Stuart facing the music on the Guardian Society's web page. Our Gisela was the only health minister to provide information on her thoughts and fears. Great to see her proudest achievements in this parliamentary term make not a mention of health at all, centring bizarrely on divorce and kerb-crawling.
And finally, It is bottoms up at the Still and West pub in Portsmouth, where landlord Michael Finnerty has been receiving confidential medical notes for over a year. Mr Finnerty rang up health organisations, including Portsmouth Healthcare trust, West Hampshire trust and Hampshire county council, over the last year to ask them to stop sending the faxes. He explained: 'There is some sorry stuff in there. It is not the stuff I want to read and I got so much I used to rip it up and put it in the bin. ' Those of you in regular contact with your regional offices may sympathise with brave man Finnerty.