Unsurprisingly with the party conference season in full swing, there is plenty of NHS politics in the papers this week.
Health secretary Andy Burnham’s pledge last Wednesday to phase out inpatient parking charges and introduce free care for the elderly seemed to go down well, although none of the papers probed too deeply on where the funding for either of these was likely to appear from.
Mr Burnham was followed on Monday by his shadow Andrew Lansley’s speech to the Conservatives in Manchester, in which he talked about slashing NHS bureaucracy. Again, none of the media was particularly fierce in their reports.
However Fiona Phillips in the Mirror took things to another level in her analysis of which of the two leading parties had the best-looking MPs. She found in favour of Labour, describing Mr Burnham as a party “pin-up” and former healthy minister Ben Bradshaw as “dashing and debonair”.
The biggest story of the week seemed to be that the Department of Health was to spend £640,000 on sponsoring episodes of The Simpsons as part of an anti-obesity drive.
This allowed the headline writers to have a lot fun with Homer’s catchphrase “D’oh”. Lucky then that the Department of Health has swapped its chosen abbreviation from DoH to DH in recent years.
Elsewhere, despite a post-mortem into the tragic case of Natalie Morton concluding she had died of an advanced tumour, the Daily Express and Daily Mail did their level best to keep the possibility of an MMR-like crisis going over HPV.
An exclusive in the Express claimed “Jab as deadly as the cancer”, while the Mail published a special report on parents who claimed the vaccine had “terribly damaged their daughters”. A great pity.