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Prince to Tsar

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The most ironic appointment of the year concerned Prince Charles. Health secretary Alan Milburn, without any apparent sense of irony, announced that the Prince would be the 'Tsar of health design' - an idea which apparently occurred to both men simultaneously on a train journey where they happened to be sitting together.

Obviously it was a put-up job, part of the skillful image-making that has been going on under the supervision of various princely spin-doctors, notably Mark Bolland.The real work on NHS design is, as ever, being undertaken by real people with real jobs. A nitty-gritty report for NHS trusts on design briefing for medical buildings is currently been drawn up by a working party chaired by ABK's Richard Burton (the practice is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary, with a book on its work due in March). ABK, of course, knows all about the Prince.

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