The Department of Health sold its NHS information strategy to the national press with the promise of patients being able to book GP appointments online.
Most of the broadsheets ran something on the strategy ahead of its launch on Monday. The Times headline was “Online booking for GPs to avoid that wait on phone”.
But few gave the long-awaited plans significant column inches and none got much further than the DH headline grabber on GP appointments. There was some discussion on whether the most vulnerable patients had access to broadband but the papers suggested overall it was a good move.
The closest the Guardian got to health on Monday was to discuss the possible merger of the union Unite, which has around 100,000 NHS members, and the Public and Commercial Services union. The two are reportedly preparing to “deepen” their existing alliance to fight the government’s austerity agenda.
The Sunday Telegraph and the Daily Mail carried warnings from the dental faculty of the Royal College of Surgeons on the danger posed to children’s teeth by high acid and sugar levels in fruit drinks and smoothies.
Sticking with fluid intake, Nick Forbes, the leader of Newcastle council, told a conference that the city had a “drink problem”, The Sunday Telegraph reported.
The same paper also criticised the NHS for funding a “human rights week”, under the headline “NHS event ‘celebrates’ its transgender staff”. Spending money on equality and diversity was not the sort of thing the NHS should be doing when it was trying to save £20bn, was the view of the Patients Association.
Lastly, the Mail asked readers whether they were suffering from “social jetlag”, caused apparently by working long hours, a hectic social life and constant snacking.