On Monday the national press speculated on the fate of the Health Bill before its appearance in the Lords later in the week.
The Guardian reported Andy Burnham’s return to the shadow health secretary role next to a picture of Sunday’s anti-bill protests on Westminster Bridge. “Kill NHS bill and we will cooperate”, was how the paper summarised Mr Burnham’s view that Labour would support GP commissioning, but only if the government dropped the bill.
The Daily Telegraph said the bill could be “further watered down” and the Daily Mail predicted it “may be killed off by peers within days”. The Mail said government figures were afraid the Lords would call for such major amendments that it would not receive royal assent in time to become law.
The paper also highlighted a study by UK academics, writing in The Lancet, which found no evidence that encouraging competition by letting people choose their hospital reduced death rates. The Financial Times, meanwhile, reported on a York University analysis showing people in deprived areas had not found it harder to access healthcare since the introduction of market forces to the NHS.
The Telegraph followed up a BBC Politics Show report claiming London’s GP records were in a “mess”. It said that the number of patients on practice lists exceeded the capital’s population by more than a million. It also ran a story on a Paediatric Intensive Care Audit Network survey, which found two thirds of specialist paediatric units had too few staff.
The Guardian and the Mail supported a Mumsnet campaign to improve NHS care for those suffering miscarriages, while the Times warned that a voluntary register for the service’s “army of untrained healthcare assistants” was still “years away”.