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PCT deficits exposed, Government review calls for nurses to be ‘more caring’ and cheap IVF at Asda

By Gareth Iacobucci

Our roundup of news headlines on Wednesday 3 March.

The Guardian has an exclusive story this morning based around a joint study with the thinktank Civitas, which has found that more than a third of PCTs are in deficit - and cutbacks are following as a result.

The paper reports that GPs in Hertfordshire are 'being told to get "approval" for a list of procedures including hysterectomies, removal of "skin lumps and bumps" and tooth extraction. Managers have advised the family doctors that in many cases "it is usually better to wait to see if symptoms resolve themselves".'

The Government's extensive review on nursing receives plenty of attention this morning. The Telegraph focuses on the finding that nurses should be more caring and compassionate towards patients in order to restore public confidence in the NHS, while The Times highlights the recommendation that the role of the ward sister should be overhauled to return them to 'a visible position of hospital authority'.

The Guardian carries the damning comments on NHS reform from former Labour health minister Lord Warner, who says the management of the NHS has been characterised by ‘monumental incompetence' and driven by ‘too much money given too quickly'

The Daily Mail reports on new research which shows that one in three hospital trusts is having to make cuts in the number of operations it performs because of financial pressures.

In The Telegraph, we hear of warnings that thousands of patients with rheumatoid arthritis will suffer if NICE turns down a drug that can treat the condition.

'Asda offers 'cheap' IVF' is the eye-catching headline in the Express, who explain that the supermarket chain will sell fertility drugs without profit, claiming it will save patients hundreds of pounds per treatment.

And in The Scotsman, we learn that a flying doctor service designed to help more patients get earlier access to vital treatment is to be rolled out across Scotland after a successful pilot.

Daily Digest