A colleague has alerted us to a Myth of the Month website run by the Health and Safety Executive, which seeks to assuage rumours that the HSE is responsible for some of the rather over enthusiastic risk assessments taking place across the land. It is worth a look. Some of our favourite myths include 'hard hats for trapeze artists', 'egg boxes banned in craft lessons' and the perennial Autumnal tabloid favourite 'kids must wear goggles to play conkers'. Posters of the myths are also available.


We thought of the above when a reader sent us a recent story from the Manchester Evening News of a cottage hospital in Cheshire which has risk assessed its knitting box over fears that children could hurt themselves with the kitting needles. Said knitting box was for patient and relatives who so wished to knit a square for blankets for the needy but has now been banished behind the reception desk and can only be accessed if especially asked for.

Back to recorded music on trust switchboards (End Game, passim). We were informed that Lewisham Hospital trust greets calls with a recorded message from the chief executive. We checked it out and so it does; Claire Perry rather swiftly runs through the options for callers, including pager services and the emergency teams. Admirably hands on of Ms Perry, we like her personal touch. Question is, does she also help out when other support teams are short handed?

Meanwhile Becky Taylor at the Liverpool Cancer Registry has suggested Stairway to Heaven could be the most inappropriate switchboard music ever. If anyone knows of any NHS related centre that plays this well known tune, it is your duty to tell us about it.