Doctors were in the spotlight this week, after the British Medical Association advised GPs to accept a new contract that means practices will open for longer.

Some polls found that two thirds of GPs were against extended hours, but The Sunday Telegraph did its own survey and concluded that three quarters opposed the deal.

Pseudonymous Essex GP columnist Dr Copperfield of The Times said the extra hours would cover "run-of-the-mill stuff". He continued: "Much of this work is done by specialist nurses. Common sense dictates they'll be called on to work extended hours as well."

Many papers covered a study by right wing think tank Reform, which painted a gloomy picture of NHS reforms.

"Sick children, stroke victims and dementia patients are being failed by the health service," reported the Daily Mail.

The Sun went further: "Failure to reform the NHS will saddle every family in Britain with a£900 annual bill."

In The Observer, prime minister Gordon Brown plugged private sector involvement in the NHS. But he said he was not prepared to tolerate poor standards: "We will, in patients' interests, be tough: on private sector primary care and on underperforming private sector hospitals."

The Financial Times reports that the Confederation of British Industry is pushing Mr Brown to make a decision on seven contracts for independent sector treatment centres.

The paper quoted CBI director of public services Neil Bentley: "[This will] send a signal not just about the ISTC programme but the government's broader commitment to long-term change in the NHS."