The Sunday Telegraph found something of a perfect storm in its story about gay NHS managers being sent on a “luxury junket”.
As part of a leadership course run by Stonewall, up to 40 gay, lesbian and bisexual health service bosses were being sent to a Gothic mansion in Hertfordshire, with its own pool, tennis courts and 190 acres of gardens. All at a cost of £1,000 a head to the taxpayer, the paper reported.
Needless to say, the Taxpayers Alliance was not happy.
However, Saturday’s Daily Mirror defended the health service, rebuffing attempts to label NHS staff as “rude, arrogant and lazy”. Fiona Phillips wrote: “Admittedly, I am a bit of an old softy, but at one point I completely choked up because they were so kind to my dad.”
The Sun reported: “Obesity ops up whopping 70 per cent”. The piece sensitively discussed the figures from the NHS Information Centre that reveal a “mammoth” 10,571 people were treated for “bulk-related problems”.
In a letter to The Times on Monday, Liberal Democrat Shirley Williams raised the threat of a revolt on the Health Bill. She said that as the reforms were not in the coalition agreement, she was “under no obligation” to support them.
Responding to new Monitor chair David Bennett’s expressed desire to expose the NHS to competition like the gas and rail sectors, Dame Shirley said British Gas had raised prices while making large profits and “since rail privatisation, the UK had paid the highest fares in Europe”.
Meanwhile a bit of draft medical guidance from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists compared the risks involved in abortion with those of giving birth. This inevitably sparked outrage, with the Daily Mail’s Melanie Phillips branding the Royal College experts “dehumanising automatons”.