Newspaper review: Guardian considers hospital 'crisis'


The Guardian leads on fears of a new crisis at an NHS hospital.

This time it is Tameside General Hospital, in Greater Manchester, that is under the spotlight.

The paper claims to have seen two unpublished reviews which found that patients who were in pain had to wait up to four days to see a consultant and that some A&E patients were left in corridors for hours because the emergency unit was full.

The Guardian says the problems are so serious that local GPs want some senior staff to quit.

In response, Tameside said it had drawn up an action plan to address the issues raised in the reports.

Pay-off call

The Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph say police could be asked to investigate whether fraud was committed by BBC executives who allowed their colleagues to leave with bigger pay-offs than they were entitled to.

Conservative MP Rob Wilson says he is thinking of referring the matter to detectives after the National Audit Office said the BBC had breached its own guidelines on severance pay.

The Telegraph's Matt cartoon shows a viewer ringing the BBC and enquiring whether he will get a pay-off because he is about to switch to another channel.

"Qatada to be booted out by Sunday" is the front page headline in the Daily Mail.

It says the 10-year battle to deport the extremist preacher, Abu Qatada, is "finally nearing its conclusion".

The Mail and the Sun both believe he could be handed over to the authorities in Jordan this weekend.

'Vote red'

The Times reports a new twist in the row inside the Labour Party over what are seen as attempts by organisations, such as the Unite union, to exert unfair influence on the choice of election candidates in key seats.

The paper claims Labour has now seized control of 14 of its constituency parties where it is suspected that efforts have been made to manipulate selections.

The Sun says Unite leader Len McCluskey has been exposed as the Machiavellian power behind Labour's throne and provides a timely reminder to the electorate that... "vote Ed and you vote red".

The Independent highlights an "astonishing" claim by the Conservative welfare reforms minister, Lord Freud, that a sharp increase in people resorting to food handouts has nothing to do with the government's squeeze on benefits.

His argument is that more people are going to food banks because there are more of them.

The paper points out that Lord Freud is a millionaire and says his remarks have provoked anger among charities who accuse him of being out of touch with the reality of life on the breadline.

Wacky names

The Daily Mirror and the Daily Express are among several papers to carry a study of baby names showing that the current trend towards "extreme retro" is as strong as ever, with the Edwardian era especially influential.

These days, the Times says, it is likely to be Primrose or Percy leaving the labour ward.

But there is still a place for wackier names which probably were not around a century ago - such as Stargazer and Orchid for girls, and Reef, Ocean and Blue for boys.

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