'Persecuted for praying', screamed the Daily Mail's front page on Monday. Caroline Petrie, a community nurse in North Somerset 'could be sacked' for offering to pray for a 79 year old widow she was treating.

Ms Petrie - a practising Baptist - offered prayers to all her patients "except if it seemed they may be of a different faith", the paper reported.

It noted on page five that technically she cannot actually be sacked, as she is employed by the primary care trust on an hourly basis as a bank nurse.

The Daily Express did not let that fact get in the way of a great opportunity to warn of "political correctness gone mad" either. Here was a woman whose job it was, quite literally, "to visit the sick and elderly" who had been "confronted" over an apparently innocent offer, appreciated by many.

But the Mail hit the jackpot by getting in references to a Relate counsellor sacked for refusing to advise homosexuals, and a British Airways employee banned from wearing a cross at work as evidence of "an attack on our own Judeo-Christian customs and culture".

The case is being viewed as a potential breach of the Nursing and Midwifery Council's code of conduct on equality and diversity. But perhaps the most immediate problem with Ms Petrie's offer was outlined by patient May Phippen, who told the paper she was worried patients might think they "looked in such a bad way that they needed praying for".

Which brings us to Alan Johnson. The broadsheets all have Number 10 "distancing itself" from the health secretary this week after he did what he does best: express sympathy for the workers. In this case, alas, the wildcat striking construction workers.

But the real news is that swathes of the country have been hit by snow.

The NHS has suffered with operations cancelled and victims of falls and crashes up.

The Metro newspaper used masterful understatement when it quoted a London Ambulance Service spokeswoman saying calls had hit 650 between midnight and 6am on Monday, which was "more than normal".