Patient stacking sounds like the kind of thing medical students might get up to: giant Jenga with people instead of blocks of wood.

In fact it's a "macabre perversion of good medical practice" that sees patients waiting in ambulances so they don't mess up the waiting-time figures of accident and emergency departments, The Observer said on Sunday. The paper went big on figures about many thousands of people waiting at least an hour before being admitted.

Following up the story, The Daily Telegraph nabbed a comment from national emergency access director Sir George Alberti, who denied targets were to blame.

"The four-hour clock for A&E waiting starts 15 minutes after the ambulance arrives, regardless of whether the patient has been handed over," he said.

Elsewhere many column inches were devoted to "polyclinics" as a waste of money and a threat to doctor-patient relationships.

Meanwhile, shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley condemned "pollyclinics", thanks to a spelling error in a Tory press release.

"Polyclinics is what he means, unless parrots are to have their own medical centres," giggled The Sun.

The People gave one reader the chance to quiz British Medical Association chairman Hamish Meldrum - one of the figures at the centre of the GP contract row.

"Have you ever had an embarrassing illness that has put you off going to the doctor's?" she asked.

"No," said Dr Meldrum. "People should never feel too embarrassed to see their GP."

That's if they can get an appointment (only joking, Hamish).