Is that a swingometer in Monitor's pocket or is he just pleased to see you? The excitement of last Thursday's election led to all sorts of surges at Monitor Towers - and the kind of swings seen that night didn't need sophisticated technology to detect them! Oh yes, it may have seemed that things could only get better in 1997, but now Monitor is feeling significantly lifted. Still, That is nothing compared to the boost being experienced by the merry bunch of civil servants, chatterboxing away nineteen to the dozen since they were released from those dreadful purdah days.
But what's this? Monitor noticed something awry when he read through the guidance given to the NHS on staying impartial during the political campaigns. Monitor's colleagues in the world of news were fascinated by the advice given to NHS organisations on dealing with media enquiries. Questions about the operation of health services 'should be handled, where possible, with factual information, by reference to published material', the guidance said. Monitor failed to ascertain whether or not factual information should be offered - where possible - at times outside purdah. Nor indeed, what sort of information should be offered when it was not possible to offer the factual variety.
Monitor really thought enough had been said last week about the rumpy-pumpy pack produced by those charitable (ha! ) ladies from Marie Stopes. Until a more eagle-eyed fellow than he pointed out that its Passport to Sexual Health, which offers teenagers advice on how to enjoy - ahem - carnal relations all over the European community, enjoys a wipe-clean jacket.
Meanwhile, strange sorts in IT were getting hot under the collar last month, on an altogether less saucy topic. Indeed, a headline-grabbing story revealed that NHS's IT plans for e-records do not have an effective PKI. Or so said the BLT. Yum. Monitor became hungry at the savoury prospect involved - until he discovered that BLT was a rather misleading acronym for Barts and the London trust. Those of you suffering from unfortunate abbreviations or euphemisms - whether in a professional or personal capacity - always have a friend in Monitor. Do write and share!