'It's a stitch-up,' shouted the Daily Star, one of many to report on plans for a pilot bonus scheme for surgeons at Imperial College London Healthcare trust.

Others were equally sceptical. "Even for a professional group - medics - known for their gallows humour, this seems to be taking things a bit far," said The Independent, which asked how you judge excellence in surgery.

"Points for style? Theatre manner? Minimalism of wound or stitching? The speed at which a hip replacee picks up his bed and walks?"

The Sunday Telegraph feared the scheme would encourage surgeons to avoid tricky cases. Even worse, it would mean the creation of "even more tiers of management... to assess surgeons and to decide which of them will get the new 'incentive payments'," fumed the paper's leader.

Elsewhere there was coverage of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence's decision to limit treatment for patients with rheumatoid arthritis to one of a trio of drugs. The Times was not impressed and used its leader column to dissect the relationship between NICE and primary care trusts: "When NICE gives good guidance, erratic enforcement creates unfairness. When it gives bad guidance, people suffer. The government must clarify where NHS localism ends and micromanagement from the centre starts."

On a lighter note, the News of the World had this for us to snigger over: "The review of the national strategy for sexual health and HIV is being undertaken, apparently, by the Sexual Health Independent Advisory Group. Or SHIAG for short."

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