Papers ponder Britain's health check


The Daily Telegraph says Britain is failing to keep pace with improvements in public health in other Western countries, despite NHS spending tripling over the past 20 years.

The paper says premature deaths from a series of conditions, including heart disease and breast cancer, are significantly higher than in other similarly-developed countries like Spain and France.

The Times says the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, believes tens of thousands of people are dying needlessly every year because of a "shocking under performance" by health services.

The Guardian sums it all up succinctly in its headline: "Smoking, diet, alcohol and drugs: Where it all went wrong".

The same Lancet report is interpreted differently in the Independent which says that deaths from dementia and Alzheimer's have soared from being the UK's 24th biggest killer to the 10th in just two decades.

The paper says that six decades of free health care, tobacco control and increased cancer screening have failed to improve the UK's overall public health.

The Daily Mail says deaths from Alzheimer's have more than doubled in the last 20 years with that figure expected to rise as the population lives longer.


The Daily Mirror leads with the case of Nicola Edgington, and asks: "Why didn't they listen?" The paper says the psychiatric patient, whom it describes as "a maniac", rang the police five times threatening to kill before she knifed a women to death.

For the Daily Mail, a string of police blunders left her free to commit murder. It says a simple check would have told officers that she had stabbed her mother to death in 2005, but no one accessed the Police National Computer and a crucial opportunity to section her was missed.

Despite being an atheist, the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, is to send his eldest son, Antonio, to one of the country's top Roman Catholic schools, according to the Daily Telegraph.

It says Mr Clegg's son will attend the same London Oratory state Catholic school that was favoured by Tony Blair for his children.

The Daily Mail says Mr Clegg chose London Oratory ahead of two other state schools, both ranked as outstanding by Ofsted, which were closer to the family's London home.

The Guardian quotes Mr Clegg saying last year that a rift in the education system between the best schools and those which most families relied on had been "corrosive" for society and the economy.

Queen home

"One's going home", says the Sun, with the news that the Queen has been discharged from hospital in London after being treated for a stomach bug.

"Her Maj is on the mend", according to the Daily Star, while the Daily Express describes a "radiant Queen" thanking staff at the private King Edward VII's hospital for their care.

The Daily Mail says that the Queen has defied doctors' orders to take it easy and asks, at 86, whether it is time for some of the younger royals to share her workload.

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