The Liberal Democrats may be flavour of the month in the media but their latest effort may not go down well with managers.
The Observer was given exclusive results of a freedom of information request by the party, which it reported under the headline “NHS boss earned £68,000 in bonuses - on top of six-figure salary”.
While the headline referred to one particular chief executive, the rest of the article took a more scattergun approach, claiming “hundreds of chief executives, departmental directors and board members of hospitals and other NHS organisations have received extra payments of as much as £32,000”.
Not quite up there with the bankers but we are in the run-up to an election, so the gloves are off.
There was an interesting difference of editorial opinion on a Royal College of Nursing survey - released on Monday to coincide with the start of the union’s annual conference - suggesting 5,600 frontline staff jobs have been earmarked for cutting by 26 trusts.
The Daily Mail warned “Nurses to bear the brunt of NHS cuts” and The Guardian gave over most of a page to the story that “health trusts plan thousands of job cuts by stealth, nurses warn”. The Daily Telegraph and The Times, meanwhile, both ran the story as a news in brief.
However, The Times did give over more space to a story that “child heart surgery units must merge for efficiency”. It reported that a review is to recommend at least four of England’s 11 specialist children’s heart surgery units should be merged with bigger centres. It identified the most likely to disappear as those at John Radcliffe Hospital, Guy’s and St Thomas’, Leicester and Leeds.
The Scottish press went large on news that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, the country’s biggest health board, is working with police on improving protection for its staff from stalkers. The Herald covered the story under the headline “NHS staff menaced by stalkers” while central Scotland’s ITV franchise went with the slightly ambiguous “Scots health board to introduce stalking policy”.