Save-our-hospital types giving you a tough time? Just point 'em in Monitor's direction. The Save Bart's campaigners were so incensed by an item about their attempt to bag a bit of free publicity during the NHS 50th anniversary Songs of Praise programme that they took HSJ to the Press Complaints Commission, complaining that Monitor had breached its code of practice.
Campaign group chair Wendy Mead was particularly wound up, claiming the piece was 'a nonsensical account of happenings that never happened'. The PCC has now ruled that 'no matters have been raised which show a breach of the code', adding for good measure that 'it did not believe that the item was materially misleading'. Now just remember, if you read it in Monitor it must be true.
But do readers of the Bart's staff newsletter know how eminent an editor they have? After Dobbo paid one of his regular visits to the place recently to meet its turbulent medics, he insisted on taking time off from standing-ovation duties at the Labour Party conference to edit the ensuing report. Apparently he took his red pen to the suggestion that he met 'a small group of surgeons', putting it back on message by removing the word 'small'. Perhaps he would like to try his hand as guest editor of Monitor one week. What do you think Frank?
For the benefit of the 19 out of 20 readers who - according to an ICM poll - will not recognise her, Monitor is happy to publish a photograph of Ann Widdecombe (left). Should you see this woman in your hospital, try not to become alarmed. She is merely health spokeswoman for the Conservative Party. Though what that might be is anybody's guess.
Monitor wonders how many civil servant hours it took to amend the official abbreviation for Health Improvement Programme from HIP to HImP (in contrast to the Commission for Health Improvement, which ministers are adamant should be CHI and not CHImp). Apparently someone at the DoH was concerned all those local government types might confuse their HIPs with housing investment programmes.
Now let's get this straight: the Community Practitioners and Health Visitors' Association is dead against tobacco in all its nasty forms.
MSF, meanwhile, is dead against huge tax increases on tobacco because it has members in the industry - and signed up alongside the Tobacco Manufacturers Association for a full-page ad in the Labour Party conference issue of the New Statesman to tell us so. The CPHVA is a part of MSF. Would the terms 'two-faced' or 'divided loyalties' come in handy here?
Finally, Monitor is saying nothing about reports that Dobbo eschewed the glitz and glamour during the Labour Party conference to spend his nights in a£33-a-night B&B, while sidekick Joe McCrea opted for the upmarket Stakis Hotel. The story is clearly a gross slur on one of them.