To: Don Wise, chief executive

From: Paul Servant

Re: Chinese whispers

Dear Don

I am writing to you from Beijing, where I am on a month-long study tour organised by the SHA to share management skills and sports medicine know-how.

There's also a team here from the Department of Health who oddly don't seem to have linked up with their Chinese health counterparts but are instead working on something secret with the Political Education Ministry.

Apparently with Stalinism now so unfashionable they want to learn about how to maintain totalitarianism without it - a chap called Mao was a bit of a guru on the subject.

By the way, I gather your own little sojourn in the Caribbean was marred by bumping into our dear chair, in part of her bikini, on the beach. Please do avail yourself of the counselling services on offer, as post-traumatic stress disorder can strike even the most fearless among us.

Meanwhile I have dutifully read this month's snappily titled The Month, from the NHS Leadership Team (check out the photos, truly inspiring!). They gushingly salivate over the 90 (count 'em) commitments in High Quality Care for All which are now being turned into implementation plans by dedicated DH workstream teams dedicated to turning the vernacular of targets into the cuddly words of outcomes. It's going to be a cultural revolution!

I can tell it's the silly season at the moment, as this is when the Tories like to strike with their searing indictments of the NHS. Pest control is the new scandal, although we can't be a sinking ship if the rats are moving in!

Apparently we should not be trying to control vermin. Well it does sound like they are out of control and so the only solution is to exterminate them. What do you reckon would work best on David Cameron?