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Editor's blog 30th October 2008: farewell to Ellie Scrivens and success with CBT

Good morning. First today comes the sad news of the death of health policy researcher Professor Ellie Scrivens at the  desperately early age of 54 - The Guardian carries an excellent obituary.

Professor Scrivens' work on the need for external regulation has had lasting impact. It would be a great tribute to her career if the Care Quality Commission were to institute an annual award in her name- - perhaps one to celebrate sustained improvement.

Next, HSJ has a story that Health Secretary Alan Johnson thinks London has too many PCTs, and that 31 is less than ideal as a number. No more NHS restructuring, eh?

Oh dear. I should put my hand up to possibly having some involvement in this, having asked Johnson about this at the recent NHS Alliance conference. It was not apparent from his reply that he had greatly thought about it. He has evidently done so - or got someone else to do so for him - since.

The story amusingly reports that "a spokesperson for NHS London said the SHA had not said that there were too many PCTs" - a known contradiction of what PCT people in the capital repeatedly suggest.

Meanwhile, a favourable report has been launched on the success of the CBT pilots. I spotted this last night on a thoughtful blog on BBC News Online by Mark Easton).

Debate - is CBT merely treating the symptoms? And if so, is that unworthwhile?