Every paper told a different story at the start of this week, despite speculation growing ahead of the arrival of the Future Forum’s recommended amendments to the Health Bill.
The Daily Mail chose to attack what it dubbed the “NHS pension millionaires”, reporting that some chief executives have “gold plated” schemes worth up to £110,000 a year.
The Financial Times ran an investigation into the “crisis” in the care home sector, as a scene-setter for Southern Cross’s announcement on its attempt to persuade its landlords to cut rents.
It reported that the private sector was providing a worse service than not-for-profit rivals and was facing financial strain following overexpansion, with low pay and high staff turnover.
Back to the reforms, the Sunday Telegraph kicked off proceedings by reporting that the prime minister was “ready to sacrifice Andrew Lansley”. It said senior figures in Downing Street had begun to “war game Mr Lansley’s departure” on the grounds that the revised bill would be so radically different from the original that he would have no credibility to drive it through.
The Daily Telegraph followed up on Monday with a story about how patients and the public would sit on the boards of “official bodies overseeing” consortia, as part of the bill changes.
The Guardian went with a classic “patients denied treatment” story, in which it reported that primary care trusts were refusing to let doctors give multiple sclerosis patients a cannabis-derived drug called Sativex.
The papers also paid tribute to the life and work of Dr Ann McPherson, co-author of the best selling health guide for adolescents, Diary of a Teenage Health Freak. The GP and advocate of assisted suicide died on Saturday from pancreatic cancer.