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Editor's blog 11th February 2009: RIP Sir George Godber

Good morning, on what is here, at least, a lovely, sunny day.

Today's Guardian brings the sad news of the death of former CMO Sir George Godber (www.guardian.co.uk/society/2009/feb/11/sir-george-godber-obituary). Aged 100, he cannot be considered to have had a bad innings.

The excellent and well-written obituary by the late Sir Douglas Black quotes Godber's own words, "The NHS is comprised of very many services rendered daily by physicians, nurses, dentists, pharmacists and others. The content of these services is defined, not by planners, but by essential professional knowledge and skills. Change in method and practice is brought about by intra-professional exchanges; it may be abrupt because of a scientific development such as the advent of a new drug, or it may occur gradually with experience."

Reflecting on Godber's analysis, Black adds, "such an analysis of how a service should be promoted leads naturally to the encouragement of dialogue with the health professions, and of a consensus style of management, both of which Godber fostered in his term of office".

We could do with more of that today.