Monitor is nothing if not a Modern Monitor. The news that younger generations are gaily indulging in sex without procreation in mind comes as little surprise. Nonetheless, a nation without clearly defined morals sometimes needs a helping hand. Given the demise of the Health Education Authority, Monitor is ready to embrace the role. First off, top scientists in Canada have invented a new contraceptive. The transparent, odourless gel acts as a barrier to sexually transmitted diseases and sperm. Terribly clever stuff, but boys can be beasts in bed. So ladies, if your chap tells you he is wearing an 'invisible condom' do check whether his emperor is wearing any clothes.
Speaking of men of majesty, that most solemn of health ministers, John Denham, has revealed a corking sense of humour! Mr Denham parked his silver Metro at Southampton General Hospital while paying a visit - only to return and find it clamped. When 'red-faced' traffic officers realised who the car belonged to, 'the clamp was removed in record time' and the£25 release fee waived. The hospital sweeps to the minister's defence: he was 'there at the invitation of the hospital so the mistake was ours, not his'. Its PR machine runs on:
'Fortunately Mr Denham is only too aware of the problems of traffic congestion on the site, is fully appreciative of the efforts being made to control it. . . and is blessed with a good sense of humour!' Monitor has little doubt that the stolid-faced one is up to speed on local parking issues in his constituency. The trust's further reassurance that 'Mr Denham really did see the funny side' brings a challenge from interactive Monitor: have you ever witnessed Mr Denham in a moment of mirth? Let Monitor know if you have evidence.
Finally, what do you say to a former director of commissioning and strategic planning in Dundee? Taxi! Monitor hears that Nigel Young, who left Tayside health board after an independent inquiry found that he and several other senior managers had overpaid themselves a total of£113,000, is planning a new career as a cabbie. The board confirms it is still chasing Mr Young for his£10,450 cut, and that it will not be accepting mileage-in-lieu.