Regular readers will recall that Monitor was upbraided last week for remarks about Marie Stopes' Passport to Sexual Health for Teens, and its usefully wipe-clean cover. Since then he has had the opportunity to reflect in a secluded spot on whether he has an unusual predilection for Benny Hill-style sexual innuendo.
Meanwhile Mrs Monitor has helped out in the way only she can by taking his column in hand. And she produced a fine back page for HSJ, too.
Now, to serious matters, and shocking news on some of the measures set to feature in the health bill announced in the Queen's speech last week. Monitor was alarmed to read reports in The Guardian that, 'it will scrap regional health authorities'. NHS managers across the country who thought RHAs had been abolished years ago are now faced with the dilemma of whether to reintroduce them so they can be axed again, in a more modern manner. But never let it be said that sandal-wearing Guardian readers are not being encouraged to break down ideological barriers and abandon Lefty dogma. For the paper also reports a warning, allegedly issued by the NHS Confederation, 'not to skimp on the administrative budgets of private care trusts' - a phrase that, quite literally, gives a new meaning to primary care trusts.
Another innovation comes to light in the Black Country, where nurses from Spain and the Philippines are to receive lessons in the local dialect. In seminars at Manor Hospital, Walsall, nurses will learn such words as 'wazzin' (throat) and 'fittle' (food). But tabloid experts say: 'Spanish nurses should not 'stop werriting' yet. ' Monitor is not clear why Spanish and Filipino nurses are being singled out. He is not sure whether or not he should 'stop werriting' either. Is it dangerous? Monitor has a simpler idea to end this postcode lottery of patient speech. If Big Al can prescribe a national shift of dinner time - preferred by some at midday - to a modernised evening slot, he can surely get patients to speak proper NHS lingo, and thank the doctor 'for the step change in wellbeing following my recent finished consultant episode'. Meanwhile, Monitor can only promise you this: next week, written communication the Alan Milburn way.