It must have looked like a good wheeze to take the media focus off the fiddled waiting time statistics and with the worst waiting times for A&E since 2007 about to be published.
Health Secretary, Alex Neil, went off to watch a kidney transplant operation at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
This would have made a feel-good story had the Minister not had a feel-bad experience.
As the knife went at the start of the complex procedure,Mr Neil was described by theatre staff as ‘turning white’ and was said to have ‘fainted’, ‘keeled over’ and had to be helped to a trolley outside to recover.
The Minister’s aides – who were in the theatre as well in a stunt which ought to raise questions on the integrity of the hospitals infection control regime – were so engaged with the procedure themselves that they didn’t immediately notice their principal’s passing out parade.
Government spin doctors went to work quickly to deny that the Health Secretary had fainted, saying that he simply felt a little light headed. That doesn’t usually require a trolley.
The insider’s report suggested that the surgical team shared a few grins as they completed the procedure when the Ministerial entourage had passed out of the building.