More this week on secret plans for PCGs (that's the patient consultative groups revealed here last week). As you will recall, all patients are to be grouped into PCGs of roughly 500 people each. Our secret source reveals that practice budgets will be devolved to each PCG, whose duties will include creating a PCG plan, determining practice priorities and developing 'a separate corporate identity and logo for each patient consultative group'. And just to demonstrate that ministers listen, the document acknowledges: 'It has been reported that some GPs feel that having to consult three or more PCGs before they can make a clinical decision may make dealing with a clinic of 30 patients each morning unworkable.' Hmm, Monitor begins to smell a rat. Surely this is not an all too convincing forgery. If Monitor finds the culprit, heads will roll.
Which was pretty much Dobbo's attitude when Tory frontbenchers accused him of leaking his response to the Utting report on children in care to the London Evening Standard. 'Help me track down the person who is leaking from the Department of Health and I will get that person sacked,' he fulminated. Which is slightly strange really, since apparently it's okay to want information to flow the other way. Monitor is told that Dobbo sidekick Joe McCrea has instructed the DoH press office to make a futile phone call to Standard health correspondent Jo Revill every afternoon to demand that she tells them what she's working on for the following day's paper.
Speaking of Joe McCrea, though, he has been offering helpful media advice to the NHS Confed. There it was with its critical winter pressures report all set to go, when McCrea came on the line with an idea. Why not launch it a week on Wednesday, he suggested. Very good, sir, came the fearless response. So the launch was delayed - and lo and behold, Dobbo was able to come up with some instant winter pressures cash to answer everyone's problems.
Perhaps he could also offer the comrades at Camden council (former leader and local MP, one F Dobson) some useful pointers. Dobbo's local paper, the Camden Chronicle, reports claims by Tory councillor Andrew Mennear that Labour members are having a crafty cigarette in the town hall's no smoking areas. 'This is a classic case of one rule for them and another for the rest of us,' he fumes. If Dobbo doesn't step in immediately, a full and damning report will have to be sent to Tessa Jowell.
Monitor's impeccable Geordie sources have revealed the nickname of our pro-Trident junior health minister... Finger-on-the-button Hutton.
And finally, it appears that the British Digestive Foundation is fed up with being asked its views on biscuits - it is changing its name 'to make its purpose clearer'. In future, it will be the Digestive Disorders Foundation. Crumbs.