Health secretary Jeremy Hunt was facing a battle on multiple fronts in the UK’s newspapers over the weekend. On Friday, the Department of Health advised a freeze of the previously-promised 1% pay rise to NHS staff, with the Guardian warning that Mr Hunt was ‘on a collision course’ with NHS workers.
Today, the Scotsman reports of a ‘major rift’ on health policy forming between London and Edinburgh. Scottish health secretary Alex Neil condemned the proposed cancellation of the pay rise and said he would use Scotland’s powers as a devolved nation to block the move in Scotland. He said: ‘This is nothing short of bad faith from Jeremy Hunt and a betrayal of the NHS.’
Another person incensed with the health secretary is shadow health minister Andy Burnham, who – in an unprecedented move – was reported by The Times to be preparing a libel case against Mr Hunt for Twitter allegations Labour ‘covered up’ care failings at hospitals when last in Government.
In other news, people are putting off visiting their GP because they ‘misdiagnose’ their own conditions with the help of the internet, a new report has warned. The Daily Express reports that one in six people who turns to the internet instead of their GP with health symptoms risks serious illness or death.
Overweight people could slash their risk of developing arthritis by a quarter by shedding less than one stone, reports the same newspaper on today’s front page. According to Dutch researchers, losing just 11 pounds was beneficial to help avoid developing the painful condition in the first place.