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GPs buried under trusts' workload dump

Daily Digest 17 September 2009

By Lilian Anekwe

Today's round-up of the GP and other health stories making the headlines.

The big story of the day is of course health secretary Andy Burnham's decision to do away with the formality of practice boundaries and allow patients to register at any GP practice, no matter how near or far.

The Daily Telegraph, Independent and Guardian have all been well briefed and devoted lead stories to a move that will surely go down well with their commuter and yummy-mummy readership.

The Daily Mirror also includes an ominous snippet in their print edition from ‘an insider', presumably at the GPC, who has vowed they ‘are ready to do battles on this'. A case of watch this space, then.

The Daily Mail's gleeful scoop that a cabinet minister, attorney general Baroness Scotland, had employed a – gasp! – illegal immigrant from Tonga as a nanny was the only story capable of demoting Andy Burnham's GP practice shake-up to page two. It appears they are justified in giving the story preference, as a Google search of 'Daily Mail illegal immigrant' returns 1.1 million hits.

Naturally, they could not resist also writing in a footnote that though the average GP take-home pay had fallen, the NHS information Centre ‘confirmed some GPs earn up to £300,000'. You wouldn't have expected them to miss such a golden opportunity, would you?

The Independent carries a lead on American public health experts, in an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine, calling for a ‘cola tax' in a bid to fight childhood obesity.

And in the more familiar category of miraculous scientific breakthroughs, The Times reports that clever scientists have discovered a genetic cure for colour blindness in monkeys that they hope will give new hope to human sufferers of the condition.

Spotted a story we've missed? Let us know and we'll update the digest throughout the day…

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