'We're still waiting for Mr Brown to give any indication of what he might do to the NHS. Surely he won't be able to resist some meddling'

Monday brought news that deputy prime minister John Prescott had been released from the high-dependency unit of University College Hospital in London after being admitted with pneumonia. In a statement in The Guardian Mr Prescott said: 'I would like to personally thank all the doctors, nurses and support staff for their outstanding professional help, we should all be very proud of our magnificent NHS.'

Meanwhile health secretary Patricia Hewitt attempted to fight on. The Sunday Times said her 'career is lying on a trolley in some dark hospital corridor probably labelled 'Do not resuscitate'. In a couple of weeks Dr Brown is expected on his rounds to put her out of her misery. But until then she must put up with the pain.'

The People's leader called on the prime minister in waiting to 'put patients first'. The number of hospital trust accident and emergency departments tackling the most serious emergencies had dropped from 204 to 156, it said, but the Department of Health was unable to provide reasons why. 'We are deeply suspicious of further plans to slash the number of casualty departments in favour of specialist A&E centres.'

The Tories hit out at how much Labour was spending on 'czars'. The Sunday Telegraph said that there were at least 10 at the DoH including one for aged services and another for renal services.

We're still waiting for Mr Brown to give any indication of what he might do to the NHS. Surely he won't be able to resist some meddling.