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Lansley’s NHS hand grenade; ban on cheap booze; best cure for a hangover

By Ian Quinn

Our roundup of health news headlines on Tuesday 18 January.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley must be pleased GP Dr Sarah Wollaston was elected as a fellow Conservative MP.

The member for Totnes’ quote that his NHS reforms are the equivalent of ‘tossing a grenade’ into PCTs made for an explosive front page headline in the Daily Telegraph for one as, on the eve of the launch of the health bill, the intensity of the media spotlight on his plans reached a new pitch.

The Independent carries the deadline that the reforms mark ‘the end of the NHS’, while the Daily Mail reports, like many, the views of House of Common’s Health Committee chair and former health minister, Stephen Dorrell, another MP who must be on Mr Lansley’s Facebook friends list, that the reforms are too risky.

The Mail’s commentary says Mr Lansley should be prepared to delay the changes, due to be introduced in tomorrow health bill, while the Guardian’s leader claims the reforms represent David Cameron’s biggest challenge to date, in what has already hardly been a smooth ride for the coalition, after the PM claimed yesterday the reforms were his, and not just Mr Lansley’s, ‘passion’.

The Guardian’s Polly Toynbee argues the ‘Tory free-market hurricane will blow our NHS apart’, citing Pulse’s research showing many consortia are already recruiting private firms, whereas David Green, director of think tank Civitas, tells the Mail the reforms should have been carried out far more slowly and predicts Mr Lansley is in for a ‘very rough time indeed’.

In other news the papers report on Government plans to introduce the first minimum pricing scheme on alcohol, although the move, according to many experts speaking to today’s papers, has been watered down.

For those who still can afford to get one, the treatment for a hangover is not a good old fry up, hair of the dog or raw eggs but a coffee and an aspirin, according to research also widely reported by today’s bleary eyed journalists.

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

Daily Digest – 18 Jan 2010