Conservatives criticise Guy's trust chief. . . Finance director warns HAs. . . Obstetric services axed. . . Hospital slates management consultants. . . Paperwork slows down GP

Conservative backbenchers, angry at the party's crushing defeat in the Monmouth by-election, are partly blaming Guy's Hospital trust chief executive Peter Griffiths. They say his announcement of sweeping job cuts as the campaign started focused attention on the NHS to the government's disadvantage. Some even claim that the option of a June general election has now been abandoned as a result.

Serious financial problems could emerge in the internal market as early as June, NHS finance director Sheila Masters has warned. She is calling for health authorities to implement stricter financial monitoring based on NHS Management Executive guidance.

Without it, HAs would be 'flying blind', she said. The new system would provide 'timely information'within a month.

A third of hospitals in England and Wales have axed obstetric beds and half have closed gynaecology beds, according to a survey by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. It also reveals that one-third have restrictions on obstetric services and 65 per cent suffer shortages of midwives. The college says 86 per cent of hospitals have cut operating sessions, and a third regularly cancel admissions.

Management consultants Qa Business Services have been criticised by a hospital for the quality of its work.

Southport District General Hospital said it was 'not happy'with Qa, called in to help set a budget. Qa is contracted to the Department of Health to reduce waiting lists.

A GP has stopped seeing some patients to deal with the paperwork generated by the GP contract and the internal market reforms. Dr Simon Smail, chair of the Health Promotion Authority for Wales, has given up a clinical session a week at his Cardiff practice. His staff calculate it takes 10 minutes extra to complete the new referral form; the practice makes 1,000 referrals a year.