image captionMore than 2,000 children’s doctors have condemned the government over its free school meals stance, the Observer says. It comes as a growing number of councils and businesses offer to provide free meals during half term. In a letter, coordinated by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, medics called on the UK government to match the pledges of the Welsh and Scottish governments and the Northern Ireland Executive to provide meals at least until the Easter school holiday.
image captionThe over-80s were denied intensive care treatment at the height of the pandemic, according to an investigation in the Sunday Times. The paper says that documents drawn up at the request of England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, outlined guidelines – called a “triage tool”. These were used to prevent many elderly Covid patients from receiving ventilation in intensive care, the paper adds. Hospitals in Manchester, Liverpool, London, the midlands and the south east reportedly used the criteria set out in the documents. The Department of Health and Social Care said the guidance was never formally published.
image captionThe Sunday Telegraph says the two-week isolation period for people who come into contact with someone infected with Covid-19 could be halved to between seven and 10 days over fears that people are not complying with the test and trace system. Writing in the paper, Sir Bernard Jenkins, chairman of the Commons liaison committee, says there is a “vacuum of leadership in test and trace, which is destroying cooperation and compliance”.
image captionNHS staff should get the coronavirus vaccine within weeks, the Mail on Sunday reports. The paper says it has seen an email sent by an NHS Trust chief to his staff, revealing that the health service is preparing for a national vaccination programme before Christmas.
image caption“Stop failing our NHS heroes” is the headline on the front page of the Sunday Mirror. The paper reports that the NHS is battling a mental health crisis, citing new figures obtained in a Mirror investigation, with 300,000 workers “near breaking point”. The paper adds that two million days have been taken off for mental illness.
image captionMeanwhile, ministers are worried that families might ignore coronavirus restrictions over Christmas, the Sunday Express says. Citing senior sources, the government believes it has “reached the limit” with lockdown and will need to ease measures over the festive period, the Express adds.
image captionElsewhere, the Sunday People reports that children are addicted to online gambling from the age of 13, with some accumulating debts of £100,000. “The figures are quite horrifying,” the paper quotes the director of Britain’s first NHS clinic set up to help them as saying.
image captionAnd although several of the front pages carry images from Saturday’s live Strictly Come Dancing show, the Daily Star Sunday instead looks to the programme’s former host, Sir Bruce Forsyth, whose ghost is allegedly haunting the London Palladium – the theatre where his ashes were scattered. The paper quotes actors preparing for panto, who described the “friendly” presence.