This week the press went to town on how health secretary Andy Burnham is planning to shackle hospital budgets to patient experience for the first time.
Depending on what paper you read, it’s all part of Mr Burnham’s efforts to move the NHS away from a “get what you are given” or a “like it or lump it” culture.
The Times, which in its online edition featured a picture of Mr Burnham going for a swim, took a glass half empty stance, explaining that hospitals could lose money if they failed to make their patients happy.
The Guardian and Mirror were glass half full, writing that it offered the chance for trusts to be rewarded and earn extra cash. The Mirror also managed to sneak the word “smiley” into its headline.
Meanwhile The Daily Telegraph took a culinary approach, focusing on how funding would be tied to hospital food.
Some reports explained how Mr Burnham had been inspired by the US, where private healthcare companies offer rewards to medical centres rated highly by their patients. Interesting, given the political spat between the two countries over who has the nastiest health system.
Meanwhile The People offered a range of solutions to NHS funding problems. In one story headlined “Foreigners in £5m NHS debts”, it reported on how one in four overseas patients who received urgent NHS treatment failed to pay their bill.
The paper went on to describe Tory plans to make health insurance compulsory for overseas visitors from outside the EU. Make them pay before letting them on the plane seems to be the gist of it.
The letters section offered further analysis - one reader mooting the use of lottery funding and a second questioning the spending of NHS money on management consultants. “I’ll give the NHS some advice for free - employ more nurses on the wards,” wrote one.
And at last, some good news about prime minister Gordon Brown in The Guardian. The paper reported that he was preparing to “lead a push” to scrap health charges for millions of pregnant women and teenage mothers in the developing world.