The Papers: ‘Winter crisis’ for NHS hospitals

Daily Mail front page - 03/01/18
Image caption Several papers lead on the postponement of thousands of routine operations at some hospitals in England due to winter pressures. The Daily Mail says NHS chiefs demanded the “radical action” to free up beds and medical staff as casualty units face a rise in flu cases.
Guardian front page - 03/01/18
Image caption The NHS is on “black alert”, says the Guardian’s headline. The paper reports the service is reeling under what doctors’ leaders and hospital chiefs say is the most intense strain it has faced in decades.
Daily Telegraph front page - 03/01/18
Image caption The Daily Telegraph describes the move by NHS officials as an unprecedented step. Hospitals are reporting growing chaos, with a sharp rise in flu cases leaving frail patients facing 12-hour waits, says the paper.
Daily Express front page - 03/01/18
Image caption The Daily Express leads on figures which suggest at least 2,621 foreign mothers had their babies delivered on NHS maternity wards last year while ineligible for free treatment. It says the “health tourism scandal” could be costing £16m a year.
Daily Mirror front page - 03/01/18
Image caption The Daily Mirror says British dental patients unable to get NHS care are being treated by a charity that works in Third World countries. Dentaid has set up temporary dental surgeries in a bid to combat the crisis, it reports.
i front page - 03/01/18
Image caption The i leads on the rise in rail fares – highlighting commuters’ anger at Transport Secretary Chris Grayling for going on a business trip to Qatar as the increase kicked in.
Times front page - 03/01/18
Image caption The Times says Mr Grayling was accused of “running scared” as he became the focus of criticism over the 3.4% increase in fares, the biggest rise in five years. But it says the transport secretary defended his trip to Qatar, saying he was seeking two big contracts for UK companies.
Financial Times front page - 03/01/18
Image caption The Financial Times says the UK has held informal talks on joining a flagship Pacific trade group. The proposal amounts to an audacious bid to kick-start exports after Brexit and would make Britain the only member of the group not to border the Pacific or South China Sea, it adds.
Metro front page - 03/01/18
Image caption Metro leads on the case of a 64-year-old London man who has killed three of his partners. Theodore Johnson, who pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to murdering Angela Best in December 2016, has two previous convictions for manslaughter.
Daily Star front page - 03/01/18
Image caption The Daily Star leads on the start of Celebrity Big Brother – giving over its front page to photographs of all eight contestants on the first all-female launch edition of the reality TV show.
Presentational grey line

The postponement of operations to ease the pressure on the NHS is the main story in several newspapers.

Image copyright PA

The Daily Telegraph calls the situation “chaos”, while the Daily Mail says some health service staff describe the pressures in casualty departments as the worst they’ve known in 30 years.

For the Guardian, the measures being taken are “unprecedented”.

“Minister takes flight” is the headline in The Times, which leads on criticism of the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling.

He was in Qatar on a trade mission on Tuesday when the biggest increases in rail fares for five years came into force.

The paper says his absence has renewed speculation that he could be sacked in a Cabinet reshuffle.

The Guardian quotes a Downing Street spokesman who says Mr Grayling is doing a good job.

Dental ‘crisis’

The state of NHS dentistry is the main story in the Daily Mirror.

It claims almost half of NHS dental surgeries are closed to new patients and that people who have been denied care are being treated by a charity that works in Third World countries.

The charity, Dentaid, says some patients are struggling to eat because they are in so much pain. But NHS England tells the paper that people looking for a dental appointment are “almost always” able to get one.

The Times and the Financial Times report that Britain has held informal talks about joining a Pacific trade group in an attempt to gain new export markets after Brexit.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Trans Pacific Partnership members meet in Vietnam: Could the UK be joining the table?

Existing members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership include Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Peru, Malaysia and Japan.

The FT points out that all 11 members of the group combined account for less than 8% of UK goods exported last year.

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The website Politico reports President Trump’s promise – or is it a joke – that he plans to present awards to “the most dishonest & corrupt media” of the year.

Image copyright Reuters

He says the awards will be announced on Monday with prizes for “dishonesty and bad reporting in various categories from the fake news media”.

The website ponders the likely recipients, recalling that the president has frequently singled out the New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN for criticism.

Embarrassing street name

The Times reports the findings of a newly-published study which suggests that eating more than three rashers of bacon a week, or the equivalent amount of other processed meats, can raise the risk of breast cancer by a fifth for post-menopausal women.

Even eating small, infrequent portions was said to increase the risk by fifteen per cent. There was no link found for younger women. The researchers from Glasgow University looked at more than 260,000 British patients.

An Italian stage director has rewritten the ending of Bizet’s “Carmen”, according to The Times, as a protest at violence against women.

In the new version, to be staged in Florence from Sunday, the gypsy heroine is stabbed by her spurned lover, Don Jose, but then manages to grab a pistol and shoot him.

The director, Leo Muscato, says the original ending of the 19th century opera in which Carmen is stabbed to death by Jose “reeks of male chauvinism” and “makes no sense today”.

Finally, many papers report an attempt by a group of neighbours in Rowley Regis in the West Midlands to persuade their local council to change the name of their road, which the Daily Telegraph describes as “Britain’s most embarrassing street name”.

The residents say they are tired of being a laughing stock and that their children have been bullied and teased at school.

They say the road name “Bell End” – which is commonly used as a insult – has also affected house prices.

But one local man tells the Daily Mail that the street was named after a coalmine and he thinks it is a great name with no rude connotations at all.

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