Ann Widdecombe is leaving her mark on the Tory health team as only a former minister for boot camps can. That's 8.30am breakfast meetings - twice a week. And Friday hospital visits - 50 each for the three spokesmen before the summer recess. 'She keeps up a pretty daunting pace,' murmurs an aide. Indeed, while Home Office minister, she set a record by visiting every prison in the UK, astonishing her civil servants by fitting in the last handful in the week before the general election. Expect a visit soon.
Meanwhile, rumour reaches Monitor that globetrotting former NHS supremo and Mancunian academic Sir Duncan Nichol was not best pleased to have his application to chair Foreign Office quango the British Council turned down. Perhaps That Article in the Daily Mail all those years ago still rankles. After all, the shadow health spokesman whose policies he rubbished was Robin Cook. Not, of course, that an ethical foreign secretary would stoop to such things.
Don't be surprised if you call on Dorset health authority boss Ian Carruthers to discover his office festooned with Christmas decorations. The HA has already approved his plans 'to help hospitals cope with increased pressure on services this winter'. And we haven't even had the summer crisis yet.
Did Dobbo get lost on his way back from the footie in Toulouse? Maybe he took the Damascus road by mistake. For baffling news reaches Monitor: the man who once proposed setting up an Atheists for Labour group will be giving a reading at a church service on 8 July to celebrate the NHS's 50th birthday. With his taste for tall stories, maybe something from the Apocrypha would be appropriate.
If he wants proper professional advice, though, it might be best not to turn to the ranks of NHS Church of England clergy just now. They might give him the same advice their boss gave Adam and Eve: go forth and multiply. Health service union MSF, which represents them, says the brothers (and fathers) are fed up with their stipend and want parity with cathedral canons. Monitor suspects extremist infiltrators - MSF's clergy section is apparently led by a Rev Stephen Trott.
Speaking of stroppy trade unions (and divine guidance), if you really want to know how to set up primary care groups, the people to ask are the British Medical Association. Though the DoH steadfastly refused to let anyone see the text of health minister Alan Milburn's letter on the subject last week, the BMA happily released the lot to anyone who asked, causing consternation among civil servants who thought a deal had been done to keep it secret until after the 50th anniversary.
And finally, Monitor's book of the week is The Bottom Line: practical financial knowledge for managers. As the publisher's gush puts it: 'In this remarkable book Alan Warner uses the power of romantic fiction to explain the key concepts of business finance...' You couldn't make it up.