Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The poly-gone that didn't bark in the night

Pity us poor journos. What are we to do when the Darzi report on the future of the NHS appears to offer none of the controversy we were promised?

Most noticeably - and I have checked - it does not mention the word "polyclinic" once.

It ought to be a gift for headline writers.

For a start there's the polly that didn't bark in the night. ( A reference to a Sherlock Holmes story for the unlearned)

Then there's the old joke about "polly gone" or in this case "poly gone" - clearly a story with many sides.

But most of all you long to do something with that Monty Python sketch. Is it a "dead polly" or a polly that's no more? And of course all these headlines don't really make sense. So today we've settled for "poly-plan gone" and "Is poly-plan no more?". I wonder if anybody else will do better.

Then there's the question of the content of the report. Even yesterday morning the papers were warning of outrage as general practice was handed over to private, nurse-run companies.

The report was published - with apparently none of that. Or is it buried in there somewhere?

Now reports of this kind are notorious for this kind of misinformation. Expectations and alarms are raised and then damped - everyone breathes a sigh of relief and welcomes all the good intentions. And there do appear to be many interesting ideas in this report.

Or has the Royal College of Nursing appeared to have spotted what the BMA and the Royal College of GPs missed. This was a modest proposal to allow nurses to transfer to the private sector by taking their NHS pensions with them. Welcome news to the RCN but not necessarily GPs. So is that the real meat (sorry, the parrot) of the report?

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