The mountainous world of NHS recruitment gets overshadowed, fears Monitor, by molehills in matters of sport. Luckily funzine HSJ has no time for nonentities of the Kevin Keegan variety when there are real celebs like Nige Crisp to worry about. But this week, the dizzy worlds collide, as a former health authority chief exec steps into the breach as England's new football coach. That's right! You heard it here first. David Dein, Arsenal vice-chair, who was on the selection panel, explained why our man got the job: 'He is used to players who are earning extraordinarily large sums of money, so he will not be fazed by the superstar element.' Indeedio. Peter Catchpole received a £359,000 payoff after taking early retirement from West Sussex health authority in March.
Fascinatingly, in a misguided attempt to hide his NHS days, Mr Catchpole appears to have taken on a new identity and is now known as Sven-Goran Eriksson.
Meanwhile, news in from the Breathe Right Nose Squad, a 'dedicated team of specialists with the sole aim of educating the British public about the important health, cosmetic and performance benefits of breathing through the nose'. The team - which also provides 'emergency supplies' of nasal strips which are not entirely attractive - has put out a national survey with a plastic nose attached to it. And it's jam-packed with unmissable info. An ever-so-scientific survey found that Britain's fave male nose belongs to our leader, Tony Blair. The PM's proboscis stood out from a line-up of 14 anonymous male and female noses, winning 61 per cent of the votes. And the female winner? Posh Spice.
Meanwhile, Monitor's precious correspondent, NHS Alliance supremo Dr Mike Dixon, writes in with a tale of 'the hazards of the perennial conference attendee'. Monitor would have thought the risk of death by boredom would be pretty high on the list, but no, Dr Dixon reckons that leaving things behind is a fate far worse. He explains: 'I arrived at this year's conference only to find that I had five shirts all requiring cufflinks and no cufflinks.' Cue suspense. Dr Dixon continues in a slightly implausible vein, by suggesting that his call to the hotel reception to ask, 'Can I hire some cufflinks?' was answered by a chap who sounded like Manuel from Fawlty Towers retorting: 'You cannot have Kathleen for 20 minutes'. Luckily Dr Dixon's kiddiewinks were on hand - his inventive daughter quickly fashioned some excellent cufflinks out of paperclips. That's the spirit!
Speaking of child abuse and over-exposure to the evils of NHS management at a young age, publicity-greedy Matt Tee, director of communications for CHI, continues to invest heavily in child labour. Prodigy Vicky Tee - aged nearly three, at last count - e-mails to thank Monitor for including her pic in HSJ last month.
The facilitative and consultative world holds many a charm, recognises Monitor, who was ready, waiting and slightly over-excited when the Department of Health (hullo again! ) updated its website facilities. Readers who haven't popped to the site recently may not realise that you get a free dose of propaganda about the superbness of the NHS plan before you get anywhere near news and information. Bit if you want to share your views with the DoH, its website wants to know. Kind of. 'You'll notice we're making changes to this site to make it easier for you to use', it boasts. 'We need your views to help us make the right changes. Tell us what you think.'
You can tell the DoH exactly what you think by clicking on 'yes' or 'no'.
And while we are getting scared about the brainwashing nature of the department of stealth, self-confessed Monitor fan Matthew Pitt writes in with news of an e-mail he got, signed off by the DoH's 'Public Confidence and Understanding Team'.
Also, a fascinating survey on the Brighton Evening Argus website reveals that 100 per cent of those polled think NHS patients being sent to private hospitals is 'a good thing'. A canny experiment to break the unanimity revealed that the 100 per cent represented 14 people.
A letter in HSJ last week about a copy of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds' magazine for November/December 1970 found in a waiting room of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham gave Monitor an idea. Why don't you write in if you can lay your hands on a more decayed publication spreading bacteria in a modern and dependable healthcare facility near you?