big story

Published: 16/05/2002, Volume II2, No. 5805 Page 20 21

The kidnapping of two-day-old Elizabeth Rice from Stourbridge's Wordsley Hospital received blanket coverage from the national press.

The fact that she was found within seven hours must have been a double relief to the Dudley Group of Hospitals trust, which had to admit that the CCTV cameras scanning Wordsley's maternity unit were not working properly.

Had baby Elizabeth been missing for longer, the Dudley trust would have come under much greater scrutiny and, no doubt, issues such as last year's 10-month strike by 600 ancillary workers would have been given an airing.

The speedy end to the kidnapping meant little imagination was applied in covering the story, but there were two exceptions.The Mirror provided a diagram of the hospital's maternity unit and a description of its security measures, which was either informative or foolhardy - but probably both.

The Daily Mail , unusually, found time to stand back from the furore and include a thoughtful piece from Ken Norman, chair of the Portia Campaign which 'helps women who are in the grip of a desperate compulsion to take another's baby'.

Seen or heard anything that mediawatch should cover? e-mail alastair. mclellan@emap. com

Private investors weekly Shares 'examination of which companies will benefit most from the£40bn boost in NHS spending announced in the Budget identifies five categories.

Construction and property : the Unite Group, which provides accommodation for key NHS workers, and property valuer Christie Group.

Supplies : medical equipment suppliers Huntleigh Technology and Smith & Nephew.

Pharmaceuticals : generic drugs manufacturer SkyePharma.Personnel : specialist recruitment business Reed Health Group.

IT : IMS Maxims, which is developing electronic patient records.