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Editor's blog 28th January 2009: A quick one on cello scrotum, good news, length and debts and mixed sex

Hello. I hope you're well.

It’s all a bit hectic just now, so more considered pieces on the NHS Constitution and on the IT programme review and the AfC NAO report will - like the Number 19 bus - be along shortly.

So, as they say in the trade, this is just a quick one.

We start with some much-needed levity and good news. First up today is an admissions of wrongdoing, coming (topically enough) from the House of Lords on the serious subject of ‘cello scrotum’ - www.bmj.com/cgi/content/extract/338/jan27_4/b288?ijkey=a1e687b5aa78951431101aa77279503d1ba3af92&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha

Those of you of an attentive disposition may remember that last week, I asked for your good wishes for the operation on Ben Bowman and family and Professor Martin Elliott of GOSH (www.healthpolicyinsight.com/?q=node/249). I was pleased to hear that the operation went successfully. Ben is apparently not out of the woods yet, but over the surgical hurdle.

After the good news, a sobering report from the Institute of Fiscal Studies (www.ifs.org.uk/budgets/gb2009/9gb09_spending.pdf) looks at the projected impact of the recession on public spending plans. This isn’t necessarily much that you didn’t already know, but the figures are still quite arresting.

In other news, we heard about an end to the political embarrassment of mixed-sex wards (sort of): http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7855462.stm I think we can expect the clinical exception definition to become ‘wider still and wider’ …