Last week nurses came under fire. All 300,000 of them were momentarily tarred with the same brush that had painted the 16 examples of poor care highlighted by the Patients Association last week.
As is often the way when the papers lay into nurses, criticism of NHS managers was not far behind.
A convenient segue between the two came in the various versions of the “Prisoners eat ‘better’ than NHS patients” story that made it into most tabloids and a couple of broadsheets on Tuesday. While nurses were by no means off the hook on this one, they were not facing the mudslinging on their own. This perennial hospital/jail food comparison (it only seems like weeks since the papers last ran this story) is an opportunity for the media to have a pop at managers - and in this case porters too.
The Sun, in the first of two consecutive editorials critical of NHS staff, said the issue “is a question of bad management, incompetent planning and a minority of hospital staff who don’t do what they are paid to - care”.
“It is a perfect opportunity for Tory leader David Cameron to spell out how he plans to modernise our health services,” it added.
There has been no word from the party leader yet.
In the meantime though, shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley took part in The Independent’s regular “You ask the questions” slot. Sadly, there wasn’t any Conservative health policy that managers haven’t heard before.
In fact, his most controversial revelation was that he would like to see Ravi Bopara given “another chance” in the England cricket team.