England may have lost some football match last weekend but as far as Media Watch is aware, they did not actually score an own goal.

The same can’t be said for the nation’s doctors, whose strike-which-was-short-of-a-strike last week seemed to attract a mixture of condemnation and ridicule in the press.

The Independent had medics “licking wounds” as the day passed without much impact – and, in some cases, shorter queues for medical attention than normal.

The Daily Mail said 90 per cent of doctors kept working in a “prescription for sanity”. Its stablemate, the Mail on Sunday, highlighted doctors who treated private patients on the strike day – including one whose NHS clinic had been cancelled. Department of Health five, doctors nil.

NHS medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh told the Daily Mail that junior doctors would have a period of “shadowing” more experienced colleagues when they started their first jobs – traditionally the first week in August, which he described as “the so-called killing season”. The BBC reported that a pilot of this had led to a reduction in mistakes of more than 50 per cent.

Many papers highlighted the continuing difficulty NHS patients face in getting the drugs they need, because they are often in short supply in the UK. This was highlighted by a Labour MP who wants to see drugs reserved for British patients before they are exported. The Daily Telegraph led on this, claiming lives were being put at risk.

But, never one to forget its core audience, the Telegraph also had an upbeat medical story to appeal to its readers: researchers have suggested that two glasses of wine a day improve the quality of life for the middle aged. Cheers!

Topics