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City Hospital trust in Birmingham has set up links with BBC Radio West Midlands, which will provide 'public service broadcasting' to send out messages to the public. Internally, regular bulletins on hospital radio will inform patients and relatives of delays and pressures.

The trust is also planning arrangements to ensure the speedy issue of death certificates in order to meet ethnic minority communities' requirements for rapid burials and cremations.

Grampian University Hospital trust has doubled its international links. The trust has an agreement with a hospital in eastern Australia to give it 10-and-a-half hours' notice of millennium issues as the clock strikes midnight on the other side of the world. A New Zealand hospital has now contacted Grampian to offer it another two hours' notice.

Grampian will also set aside a 36-bed 'drunk ward' and has arranged to use Home Office phones which work in the event of network breakdowns.

University College London Hospitals trust will be holding 'a major incident rehearsal' in September at which police and ambulance services will join hospital staff to tackle 'degradation to lifts' and several utility failures.

Greenwich Healthcare trust plans 'staffing levels consistent with (those) which would be deployed during a major incident'.