Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Public Service Blogging

Some public service blogging to guide you through tomorrow's newspapers. How many of Gordon Brown's eye-catching announcements apply outside England?

The answer is not many. Prescriptions are already free in Wales, so the free prescriptions for cancer patients will make no difference there.

The educational technology allowances will help children from poorer families in England access the internet. In Wales, the first "free laptops" trial doesn't begin until next year.

Free part-time nursery education for two-year-olds (I should declare a parental interest) will happen only in England, and then only very gradually.

On health, Mr Brown promised: "In April a Labour Britain will become the first country in the whole world to offer free universal check ups for everyone over 40."

(Again, I declare an interest) What he should have said (but couldn't) was "a Labour England". So will the Welsh Assembly Government introduce free universal check-ups for the over 40s?

"In Wales, GPs already monitor high-risk patients and provide lifestyle advice to manage that risk. We are currently looking at ways of strengthening that approach for cardiac disease, stroke and diabetes by introducing a more co-ordinated approach."

I'll take that as a "no", then.

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