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08-01-2019

Newspaper headlines: NHS video appointments and staffing shortage

The i TuesdayImage caption The i leads with the government's 10-year plan for the NHS, which it published on Monday. Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England, has said there are some 100,000 vacancies across the health service - including 40,000 full-time nursing roles. The paper says that according to the plan, the NHS needs to launch a large-scale international recruitment drive. Mirror TuesdayImage caption The Mirror is also explicit about what it calls the "chronic staff shortages" of the NHS. It says the plan is "doomed to failure" unless more staff are hired. The newspaper quotes NHS Providers as saying: "This cannot be delivered while trusts have 100,000 workforce vacancies." Mail on TuesdayImage caption The Mail focuses on some of the new technology announced in the long-term NHS plan, saying health chiefs hope to save time and money by carrying out a third of all outpatient consultations by video link. But it adds that some GPs have warned some symptoms can only be spotted in the flesh. The Times TuesdayImage caption The Times also leads with the prospect of Skype hospital appointments. 30 million hospital visits a year will be avoided thanks to video and smartphone calls, the paper says. And the paper is one of many papers to carry a photo of actor Kevin Spacey, who appeared in a US court to face a charge of indecent assault and battery following an allegation of groping in 2016. A non-guilty plea was entered on his behalf. Express on TuesdayImage caption The Express calls the NHS plan "ambitious" with "sweeping digital reforms" which hope to lead to earlier diagnosis of major health problems. But the paper also mentions the concerns raised over the NHS staffing. The Express is one of many papers which show a photo of Olivia Colman accepting her Golden Globe for best actress in a musical/comedy. The Guardian TuesdayImage caption The Guardian reports that NHS bosses have told Theresa May to drop a Conservative law which forces contracts for care to be tendered. The move - if Mrs May agrees to implement it - could "hugely reduce privatisation of key health services". The paper says the law has led to an increase in the number of NHS contracts awarded to profit-driven firms and is damaging the health service. Telegraph TuesdayImage caption The Telegraph leads on Brexit, reporting that British and EU officials are discussing the possibility of extending Article 50 - and thus the date when the UK leaves. It comes amid concerns by some that a Brexit deal will not be completed by 29 March. The paper says three separate EU sources said UK officials had been "putting out feelers" on extending Article 50. The government says it has no intention of asking for an extension. Metro newspaper TuesdayImage caption The lead story for the Metro is on Darren Pencille, the man who appeared in court on Monday accused of killing a passenger on a train in Surrey. Lee Pomeroy, 51, died in the attack in front of his teenage son. According to the paper, Mr Pencille spoke in court, saying: "I'm paranoid. I'm hearing voices." FT TuesdayImage caption A photo of lorries taking part in a traffic trial outside Dover as part of plans in the event of a no-deal Brexit makes the front page of the FT. The paper says the lorries face six-day queues to board ferries if new customs checks add just 70 seconds per vehicle. But the top story is on Japanese tech giant SoftBank, which had planned to invest billions of pounds into WeWork - the start-up company which provides shared office space. But SoftBank has now "radically scaled back" its investment plans. The SunImage caption The Sun's top story is on footballer Wayne Rooney, after it emerged that he had been arrested for "public intoxication" at an airport in Virginia, US, last month. The paper claims that his wife, Coleen, is "furious". Daily StarImage caption The Star's top story is on Jeremy Clarkson, who reportedly mistook TV host Paddy McGuinness for a leader of the IRA. Paddy McGuinness is one of the new presenters of car programme Top Gear, which Mr Clarkson used to host. Mr Clarkson told the Star: "It was an honest mistake."

Many of the front pages carry reaction to the new 10-year plan for the NHS in England - with concerns over the service's staffing crisis, and digital consultations becoming the norm for patients.

The Daily Mirror headlines the story as a Tory NHS revolution that is the "wrong medicine".

It says the plan will bring smartphone appointments and Skype consultations, when experts who have worked in frontline services say the real need is for thousands more staff.

The i newspaper focuses its coverage on the plan's grand ambition to plug the hole in the workforce. Its front page evokes the famous Lord Kitchener recruitment poster, reporting that the world's doctors and nurses are being told: "The NHS needs you".

Meanwhile, "millions of NHS patients to see doctor by Skype" is the headline in the Times.

Its leader column says the new money being made available to the NHS under the plan will lead it "out of the desert but hardly to the land of milk and honey".

The paper adds that there are reasons to hope that it may succeed where previous reforms have failed, but the key question is: "Is management up to it?"

3 nhs nurses walking down corridorImage copyright Getty Images Image caption Some papers ask if there are enough NHS staff to make the plan happen

Concerns are expressed in many papers about the impact of a move away from face-to-face consultations.

"The doctor will see you by Skype" is the Mail's take as it reports that tens of millions of NHS appointments will be carried out by video-link rather than face to face.

But writing in the Express, the medical director for NHS England, Sir Stephen Powis, insists that the move towards digital is a positive that will mean "even more convenient access to your local GP".

"For anyone who needs one, GP appointments will now be available at the touch of a button, via a smartphone or online," he says.

Brexit deal or no deal

The Telegraph leads with a claim that British and European officials are exploring a delay to Brexit as the prime minister heads towards the crucial Commons vote on her deal.

The paper says that despite the government insisting it has no intention of asking for an extension to the negotiation period, three separate EU sources have told it that UK officials had been "putting out feelers" and "testing the water" on the possibility of extending Article 50.

Meanwhile, the country can't afford to play "Brexit Chicken", the Labour former minister Yvette Cooper writes in the Guardian, as she explains why she is leading a cross-party group of MPs in putting forward an amendment to the government's Finance Bill.

It will, Ms Cooper claims in her article, ensure the government cannot use the bill to implement a no-deal Brexit without first giving parliament a vote - or making an application to extend Article 50.

Prime Minister Theresa MayImage copyright Getty Images Image caption MPs are due to vote on Mrs May's Brexit deal on 15 January

Ahead of the Commons vote on Theresa May's Brexit deal next week, the chairman of the European Research Group, Jacob Rees-Mogg, assesses the PM's chances of success in the Telegraph.

He likens the withdrawal agreement to a fairground carousel which goes round and round without ever changing.

Mr Rees-Mogg adds that in the absence of any new solutions from Mrs May, views have hardened against her proposal and that no matter how many times it is put to the Commons, the result will be the same.

There is universal coverage in the papers of the first court appearance of the man accused of murdering Lee Pomeroy on a train from Guildford to London last Friday.

Photographs of the defendant, 35-year-old Darren Pencille, sit alongside reports of how he told Staines Magistrates Court he was paranoid and hearing voices.

Social housing

"The home affront" is how the Sun headlines an article written by Lord Jim O'Neill, a former treasury minister and one of 16 independent commissioners who have spent a year looking at the future of social housing.

Their report calls for more than three million new social homes by 2040, the paper reports.

Lord O'Neill says that an explosion in the private renting sector is a "scandal" that's the "number one enemy of aspiration in Britain today".

British soldiers march through the streets of EdinburghImage copyright Getty Images Image caption Thousands of troops are not in good enough health to be sent abroad, the Times says

Meanwhile, according to the Times, a "fifth of army can't be deployed".

It reports that a Freedom of Information request has revealed that more than 7,000 troops are not fit to be sent abroad because of health issues, while nearly 10,000 have limitations on roles they can carry out in other countries.

The Ministry of Defence tells the paper it has enough personnel for operations.

And the Telegraph reports that the Foreign Office - famed for its secretive approach in the past - is now divulging its diplomatic tactics in a free online course.

It offers sage nuggets of advice such as: "Never forget that you might have a revolution in your country tomorrow. So the person who wants to see you today, who seems very unimportant and perhaps even boring, might become incredibly important tomorrow."

https://bbc.in/2RdSzIZ

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