Monitor likes to think of itself as a benign force; the voice of humanity, perhaps, in an ever-changing world. Imagine the shock, then, to find that one of Monitor's treasured readers had taken offence at attempts to provide a wee bit of cheeky relief amid the torrents of national plannery. Far be it from Monitor to name the person in question, who says she would not lend HSJ of 20 July to anyone to whom she wished to give a postive image of health service management, without removing the Monitor page. Contrition all round: and this week a natty dotted line to ensure that this page is removed ahead of passing this week's mag to anyone of a nervous disposition.
But what on earth was our unfortunate reader thinking of in the first place? Monitor wishes to clarify here and now that this page has never intended to give a positive impression of any thing . Readers feeling inexplicably excited or joyful should contact the distributor who will either promise you a full refund - no questions asked - or possibly sound a bit confused and transfer you to another extension. And far be it from Monitor to feel pity for those of you too tight (and Lord knows you're earning enough) to buy your own copy.
Even among highly charged celebrations for the national plan there were a few little gaffes that made Monitor chuckle. Rumours about the absence of page 69 from early Internet versions in some sort of porn crackdown should satisfy the dirty-minded among you. (Which reminds Monitor - will traffic light performance create a nation of red-light hospitals? ) More serious was the absence of any copies of the NHS plan from regional briefings. London region insisted that regional directors had already been briefed, and anyway it was just a chance for info to 'cascade down' with little need for basics like pens and paper. And 'many chief execs had already downloaded the plans from the website'. Too right, and top Brownie points to Hugh Ross, chief exec of United Bristol Healthcare trust, who didn't let his hols in New Zealand stop the fun, but had the plan e-mailed to him straight off. Inspirational? Or something else?