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Behind the headlines: the stories you weren’t allowed to read


Blog headlines

Friday, 16 March 2012

Behind the headlines: the stories you weren’t allowed to read

The NHS is never out of the news. Below is a selection of recent headlines. All of them are real. The stories that appeared beneath them were often inaccurate, usually because they were edited by people with a poor grasp of the subject. As part of our devotion to timely and factual news reporting, we have obtained the original, unexpurgated versions.

Unacceptable child health gap

Unacceptable children are less healthy than acceptable ones, according to new government figures. 

The report was timed to coincide with the start of a new public health campaign to get kids to behave acceptably for at least five minutes every day. 

Critics of the campaign called it “unworkable and completely unrealistic”.

RCGP defends ‘odd’ letter to PM

RCGP chair Clare Gerada has responded to pressure to explain why she sent a pleasant and conciliatory message to David Cameron. 

“I don’t know what came over me,” said Dr Gerada, who put the slip down to the pressure of two years of campaigning against the health and social care bill. 

Colleagues expressed concern about Gerada’s state of mind, but after she declared that the reforms would “destroy everything we stand for, rock the NHS to its foundations, and spell the end of civilisation as we know it”, they declared her fully recovered.

Colchester plans £4.5m portal

A hospital trust in Colchester is using the latest technology to move into the 23rd century. Frustrated by outdated IT and by the slow pace of change, the hospital has commissioned students in the department of quantum physics at the University of Essex to build a portal in the space-time continuum. 

Trust chief executive, Jim Kirk, said there was no time for a conventional modernisation programme: 

“This trust needs to go fast forward into the future and if necessary over the event horizon. Warp factor 10, Mr Scott,” he said.

Kirk was later arrested on suspicion of supplying photon torpedoes to a neighbouring trust in return for favourable rates on Klingon agency nurses.  

NHS whistleblowing helpline to be extended to social care staff

Local authority staff campaigning for equal terms across the public sector have won the right to get free music lessons – a benefit already enjoyed by colleagues in the NHS.

Staff will be issued with tin whistles and recorders after management adopted a scheme run successfully in the US. Local authority chiefs say that learning an instrument can boost the morale of staff and cheer up citizens worried about the effect of spending cuts on public services.

The scheme includes a whistleblowing helpline for anyone having difficulty with fingering or breathing control. 

A local authority spokesman said: “We were all initially a bit upset by the news that our budgets were going to be cut by 25%, but knowing that I have a number to call every time I get stuck with my recorder more than makes up for it.”

Nurses may sit on ‘clinical cabinets’ to advise GP groups

A row has broken out between nurses and doctors over seating arrangements in boardrooms. 

GPs will be given comfy chairs for meetings, but nurses will have to use any item of furniture available, said a nurses’ leader yesterday, adding that it reinforced the view of many nurses that their clinical colleagues regard them as second-class citizens.

Spokeswoman Karen Crumb said: “This is typical. Just when it looked as if the profession was going to be involved in commissioning as an equal partner, it turns out we won’t even by given proper chairs but will have to perch on cabinets. This is not only an affront to our dignity but potentially dangerous.”

Ms Crumb went on to attack a BMA claim that the dispute was based on a misunderstanding as “typically patronising”.

Clusters to be given single operating model under DH plans

The government has announced radical plans to increase the number of female surgeons, who are outnumbered by male colleagues by a factor of ten to one. 

A spokesman for the Department of Health said: “The vast majority of surgeons in UK hospitals are middle aged, married men who are in no way as sexy as the doctors featured in Casualty.”

The department is to redress the balance with “single operating models” – unattached, surgically trained young women with catwalk experience. 


pdryder says:
Mar 16, 2012 01:24 PM
Another class installement from the Editor's blog! Each and every week I snigger uncontrollably into my Five Spice Pork on noodles whilst reading the update.
Some weeks, you even catch me out by discussing "serious issues" so I sit here looking puzzled and bewildered for a while instead.

Keep it up. I'm waiting to find out what becomes of Flumoxin, Dr Rummage an Co in The Blithering Chronicles!
paulblackett says:
Mar 16, 2012 01:33 PM
Thanks for the weekly news chuckle that lands in my inbox. It makes my cup a soup last longer as I laugh betwen slurps.
jpatterson says:
Mar 16, 2012 01:44 PM
...thanks for your comments and for the lunch details, which may give the guys in pathology a head start should one of you actually choke. Soup sounds safer. I am planning a trip to Blithering HQ soon. I promise to report back.
NHS Networks
mdrakard says:
Mar 16, 2012 02:03 PM
Second week in a row I literally laughed out loud.
You're in fine form at the moment
jpmaytum says:
Mar 19, 2012 09:27 AM
And there was me thinking that the lessons in playing tin-whistles was in preparation for new careers as buskers...