Monitor has remained fairly silent on the topic of international terrorism, feeling, unusually, somewhat superfluous to the debate. But this week the GP press made Monitor realise that HSJ is letting down its readers by failing to examine its stories in the light of world events. GP magazine showed how to do it last week with a story headlined, 'GPs' pay must be protected from terrorist fall-out'. Whether 'fallout' is the most tactful choice of word is another matter. The story runs thus: 'GP negotiators are ready for a fight if the government uses the economic fall-out from the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington as an excuse to plead poverty during the forthcoming pay round.' Hmmn, That is better. For a moment Monitor thought Bin Laden had launched the whole hoo-ha in an attempt to damage morale in primary care.
Speaking of morale, one of HSJ's trusty freelances is feeling battered and bruised after a run-in with one of Britain's evil no-star trusts. The magazine had hoped to interview members of the 'dirty dozen' - naturellement in a supportive and developmental way - about their efforts to turn round failing services. Seemed simple enough, and the lady reporter in question was delighted to get the thumbs-up from Portsmouth Hospitals trust, where chief exec Mark Smith (we wondered what had become of The Fall) agreed to put his head above the parapet. Plans were made, a photographer booked and our lady writer hit the road.
And indeed had reached the town of Petersfield before she was told that due to unforeseen events the interview would have to be rescheduled. Being an understanding sort, she realised instantly that Mr Smith was probably battling with heaving trolleys, or some such crisis, and made light of her inconvenience. So just imagine her surprise when Mr Smith popped up in an interview on the BBC news that very night! And imagine that surprise morphing into horror when a sheepish press officer contacted her the following week to report that Mr Smith would be cancelling his HSJ interview for good - as he felt he his profile was high enough already. Manners maketh the man, proffers Monitor: they certainly do not maketh the no-star trust!