Andrew Lansley is “threatening another controversial revolution in the NHS” with his plan for regional pay, shouted the Observer, which splashed on a story first reported by HSJ a week earlier.

The proposal was “likely to reignite disputes within the coalition over Lansley’s handling of the NHS”, warned the paper.

“Official documents reveal that the only exemption backed by the Department of Health would be for highly paid managers working in the new bodies established to deliver Lansley’s controversial NHS reform programme.”

The Daily Mirror claimed the health secretary was “endangering our health” with a postcode pay lottery that would “drive many vital workers out of the NHS”.

Andrew Lansley is so out of touch with the people, he appears to be from another planet,” said the paper’s leader.

Elsewhere, the Care Quality Commission came under fire amid widespread coverage of a Panorama documentary on older people’s care. The programme featured harrowing footage of 80-year-old Alzheimer’s sufferer Maria Worroll being hit by a worker in a care home rated “excellent” by the regulator.

“Nothing could have prepared me for the insight I was about to get into the very darkest side of ‘care’,” said Fiona Phillips, who presented the Panorama programme, writing in the Mirror.

The Daily Mail carried a first-hand account from Mrs Worroll’s daughter Jane, who obtained the shocking footage using a “surveillance clock” placed in her mother’s room at the Ash Court care home in north London.

Elsewhere the Daily Mail reported £60m of the £200m allocated to the cancer drugs fund in 2011-12 remained unspent “while patients still face red tape in trying to get treatment”.