Monitor always suspected it, but now the truth emerges - the Department of Health press office is indeed a branch of the British fiction industry. Baffled by the fact that the DoH web site's otherwise excellent press release database had enormous gaps - about one in five of the sequentially numbered releases are not there at a rough estimate - Monitor phoned 'em up and asked why. Apparently it is not some great conspiracy to rewrite history, but because 'not all the press releases we write go out', confesses a press officer. 'It might be because the event hasn't actually happened or whatever.' Press releases about non- existent events? What a marvellous opportunity to fill in the real story of What Dobbo Might Have Done Next. Before you know it they'll be putting in for the Booker.
Tricky blighter, though, fiction - especially on television. There was Monitor happily pointing out the potential for confusion between Ally McBeal's weird lawyer Howard Stoate and a certain former GP and Labour member of the Commons health select committee, when all along we had the wrong weird lawyer (see left for the entirely correct weird lawyer). Red faces all round at Monitor Towers, where the only defence is that all these middle-aged white men in suits look the same to the vast staff of writers, researchers, editors and fact-checkers who assist with this page. Anyway, Ally McBeal goes out after Monitor's bed time.
Where do management gurus go on holiday? Mauritius apparently - where Hounslow and Spelthorne trust boss Ros Lowe found the fine example of the mission statement author's art pictured above. But appropriate though it may have been, Ms Lowe insists this fine
mission belonged not to a hospital but to a fast food outlet. As she points out, maybe they know more than we do about getting their retaliation in first.
Still on the international solidarity front,
Monitor is delighted to hear of the existence of a fine body of men and women in North
Carolina who go under the collective name of the Dobson Rescue Squad. Has news of our Dobbo's travails spread across the Atlantic? Well, no actually, it's a local emergency service based in, you guessed it... Dobson City. So far this year they've dealt with three assaults, four
chokings, five lacerations and two shootings. How very unlike the home life of our own dear health secretary.