GP 'revolution', Kate baby 'hint', Nigel Evans' 'pressure' and SNP call in papers

Plans for a radical expansion of GP surgery opening hours in England make front page headlines in the Sunday Telegraph and Independent on Sunday.

Patients will be able to see their family doctors in the evenings and at weekends and email them for advice under plans to ease pressure on hospital A&E services treating an increasing number of elderly patients, says the Telegraph.

The Independent on Sunday says the reforms, to be formally announced on Monday, are also expected to see patient consultations take place via video-link, secure email and telephone. But the paper outlines what it sees as a history of "broken promises" in the NHS since 2004.

In an editorial, the Independent says the last Labour government can fairly claim to have saved the NHS from decades of cumulative under-investment. But it adds "something went wrong" with GPs' contracts, and the quality of service provided suffered.

The paper sees "Cameron's cure" as a "modest start" but says a "more patient-friendly GP service has a chance of emerging from the confusion of health policy over the past four years".

Meanwhile, the Mail on Sunday reports that campaigners have criticised a decision by ministers to slash the level of fines for hospitals hit by potentially fatal superbugs and relax targets as "morally wrong".

The government says it still has a zero-tolerance approach to the issue but contends that some infections are a consequence of "factors outside the control of the NHS".

Different apparent pressures on the NHS are highlighted in the Sunday Times. The paper reports the results of a Freedom of Information request that indicates a rising number of women - almost 33,000 in the past three years - were sent home from hospitals in England and Wales in the middle of the night after giving birth.

It says this is despite experts warning that such action can put them at risk. The maternity and child health minister Dr Dan Poulter tells the paper new mothers should be discharged only if ready and after a clinical consultation.

'Surprising remark'

Just what did the Duke of Cambridge mean when he told a well-wisher in New Zealand who presented him with a wool shawl for Prince George "you might have to make another one soon"?

Image copyright PA

There's no shortage of speculation, with the Sunday Express saying Prince William "dropped a broad hint" that it won't be long before he and the Duchess of Cambridge will be having another baby.

The "surprising remark" prompted speculation his wife could be expecting, reports the Sunday Mirror.

The Sunday Telegraph points out that a spokesman for the duke and duchess declined to comment on the reports. It says while the couple have made no secret of their desire to have two children, there is no suggestion the Duchess of Cambridge is already pregnant.

While the Mail on Sunday sees the "unguarded comment" as the "biggest hint yet" that he and his wife plan to extend their family following the birth of Prince George eight months ago, the paper points out that it is possible they plan to start trying for another child once they have returned from their official visit to New Zealand and Australia.

The Mail on Sunday's royal correspondent Katie Nicholl says that given the duchess's history of severe morning sickness it is likely she would have been advised not to fly or undertake an arduous tour while in the early stages of a second pregnancy.

The Sunday Times is among the papers to point out that only a month ago, Prince William's response to questions about future siblings was: "Maybe one day. One's enough at the moment."

But the paper says the world cannot get enough of Prince George and the duke's comment sparked reports that his thoughts have turned to giving him a little brother or sister.

Nigel Evans' 'despair'

The former Deputy Speaker of the Commons Nigel Evans has been speaking to the papers following his acquittal at Preston Crown Court on sex assault charges.

Image copyright AP

In an interview with the Mail on Sunday he called for a review of anonymity rules that allowed his accusers to keep their identities secret while he has been reduced to "personal and financial ruin".

And he said the Crown Prosecution Service should be made to pay his £130,000 legal expenses - funded from his entire life savings.

Mr Evans also told the paper he contemplate suicide during his 11-month ordeal when the "pressure and despair were so great".

Speaking to the Sunday Mirror, the MP for Lancashire's Ribble Valley said he could not have survived his court ordeal without the support of friends including the Coronation Street actor William Roache.

He said Mr Roache, who himself was cleared of a string of sexual assault allegations after a trial at the same court, helped pull him through the "darkest time of his life".

Revelations that emerged during the trial about an "unhealthy drinking culture" in Parliament have captured the attention of Alcohol Concern, reports the Sun on Sunday.

It says the charity is calling for an end to subsidised bars at Westminster and has urged the Commons Speaker John Bercow to stop the £5.2m-a-year taxpayer-funded benefit.

'Dramatic bid'

Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond's call to women voters ahead of September's independence referendum attracts attention.

Mr Salmond has made a "dramatic attempt to capitalise on rising support for Scottish independence by making an appeal to reluctant women voters", says the Mail on Sunday.

He used his address to the last SNP conference before the vote to promise he would force firms to employ more women in senior roles and "transform" childcare.

In an editorial, the Mail says Mr Salmon's bid to clinch the Yes vote showed "once again that he is an astute and eloquent campaigner for his cause".

And it questions why "England's political leaders have so far failed to find the words and the voice to argue for our free, happy and prosperous union".

The Sunday Telegraph's Scottish editor Alan Cochrane saw Mr Salmond's speech as evidence that "the nationalists are worried the little momentum the polls had given them of late has stalled" and suggests the SNP leader's "unpopularity with women is to blame".

But in its leader column, the newspaper says there is some "disquiet that the campaign against independence has relied more on dire warnings than a passionate case for the union".

It says the argument for staying together has a material side "but an emotional dimension too".

Making people click

Sunday People: Stephen Lawrence's mother Doreen tipped to become London's next mayor

Sunday Express: Mickey Rooney died too poor to pay for his own Hollywood funeral

Mail on Sunday: Kate and William act as rugby coaches at children's event in New Zealand

Observer: Mo Farah faces toughest test