Many rude things have been written about the future of health action zones.

But not by Monitor, who would like to salute the efforts of an awardwinning scheme from Manchester, Salford and Trafford HAZ. Under the initiative, pharmacists can give the morning-after pill directly to girls who have slipped up without any need for a prescription. MASTHAZ pays tribute to its 'slick' radio and poster advertising campaign, roadshows and publicity work as crucial to the success of the scheme. But a quick leaf through its statistics suggests that the haplessness of its clients made success a foregone conclusion. Three girls were turned away, for example, on the flimsy grounds that they had not had sexual intercourse.

Neither had the virgin Mary, points out Monitor, who would not have wished the birth of baby Jesus to be blocked by meddling chemists.

Meanwhile, news of a survey which found that almost nine in 10 pregnant women are 'frightened of the prospect of giving birth'. The survey by website www.motherandbaby.co.uk gave little explanation as to why one in 10 mums-to-be hadn't worked out that giving birth is really scary.

Monitor would like to highlight a super publication - Short Words - published twice yearly by Tim Albert Training. The autumn edition has found some excellent examples of the NHS misusing the English language. 'We dispense with accuracy' is a particular fave, while 'specialists in women and other diseases' made Monitor chortle. A third phrase - 'dangerous drugs must be locked up with the matron' - made somewhat more sense.

And finally, how very 'yoof ' of the Tories to borrow a concept first tested by new romantics Human League back in 1981. An interview with Dr Liam Fox in top read Conservative Heartlands explains: 'When Liam Fox looks at Alan Milburn, he can't help remembering that while the man who is now Tony Blair's health secretary was working in a socialist bookshop, Fox was himself an overworked junior hospital doctor finding his feet in the NHS. ' Surely overtones of : 'I was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar, when I met you'. So who says the devil has all the best tunes?