Monitor has been much concerned at the lack of imagination in naming those PFI hospitals. Boring old monikers that tell you stuff about where the hospital can be found, for example. So hats off to Dartford and Gravesham trust, which has boldly decided to call its shiny new flagship the Darenth Valley Hospital. Boldly because there is in fact no such place as the Darenth Valley - it's the Darent Valley, without a final 'h'. It's named after the eponymous river - hence the existence of the Darent Valley rugby club, radio society, choir and Rotary club, as Bryan Clark of the Dartford Historical and Antiquarian Society wrote and told the trust.
Furthermore, as he points out, the hospital isn't even in the Darent Valley. And what does the trust have to say? Well, claims communications manager Glyn Oakley in a letter to the antiquarians, the name was one of 10 selected by a top-level panel and put to a vote.
'Although the name Darenth Valley is geographically incorrect, it was identified as the most popular by staff and the public. . .' That's all right, then. Any takers for the ever popular Yangtse Kiang Valley health centre or Mississippi Delta day surgery unit?
More stories about buildings and food. Monitor is relieved to say that the Commission for Health Improvement has found a home. It is to be based in London's charming Elephant and Castle district at that monument to understated architectural good taste, Hannibal House.
Leaving aside the fact that the National Institute for Clinical Excellence was offered Hannibal House as a base and rejected it in favour of the plusher surroundings of Covent Garden, the move raises the disturbing possibility that CHI hitman Peter Homa may come to be known as Hannibal Lecter (see left). So when he pays your hospital a visit, don't bother laying on anything special in the staff canteen, just point him towards the hepatology department with a bottle of Chianti.
Meanwhile, Monitor can only sympathise with Department of Health press officer Alexander Ord, who was despatched to accept a birthday cake from angry doctors marking the first birthday of the review of suspended medics. But what became of it? 'It definitely went up to the secretary of state's office, ' says the hapless spin doc, denying suggestions that the press office had reduced it to crumbs. And from there it was sent to Great Ormond Street children's hospital - thus proving that even Alan Milburn can't have his cake and eat it. . .
. . . however much he might like to. Confronted at a recent conference by a fearless HSJ hack about his image as the hard man among health ministers, the hammer of the docs retorted that any such reputation had been 'created by HSJ , actually'. So just to put the record straight, Monitor wishes it to be known that Alan Milburn is a soft, cuddly sort of minister who really isn't going to get cross if you mess up this winter.
So it must have been Dobbo who was the tough guy, then. Speaking of whom, there is bad news for those who, like Monitor's correspondent Sarah Carr, want to see a continuing campaign against poor standards of English in the NHS. She points out that when she searched the Department of Health website she found '98 'millennium's (and no, that's not a misplaced possessive apostrophe, it's the close of quotation marks) and 53 'millenium's, which is over a third misspelt'. But what does this have to do with Dobbo? Well, in a recent letter to London Labour Party members, he claims credit for 'saving Barts hospital', adding: 'Barts is today doing what it has done for hundreds of years - caring for sick Londoners.' Taking a tough line against the Save Bart's Apostrophe campaign, then.
There is, however, good news of his little spat with the News of the World. Having had his solicitors send them a letter threatening legal action over the paper's claim that he had jumped ship from the DoH 'before the bleak truth about NHS waiting lists emerged', His Dobship has now had a rethink. 'Now the thin-skinned politician has changed his tune, ' the paper reported last week. 'Apparently, he says, it was his solicitors who went over the top in their pompous threatening letter to the News of the World .' Can't go round upsetting Rupert Murdoch, can we?
And finally, there will be no mess-ups on millennium eve in Scotland - not if Tayside health board boss Tim Brett and primary care trust chief Tony Wells have anything to do with it . They will be there in the command and control centre at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, screwdrivers in hand, just waiting for a computer to fall foul of the 2000 bug. And what's more, they say they are going to do it unpaid.
Can't see it catching on.