NEWS: Funding delays. . .BUPA blames NHS. . .Ambulance delays. . .DoH adopts new language. . .Treatments under-funded

No hospital has yet received funding from the waiting-list initiative - three months into the financial year - as the government's adviser, Qa Business Services, has hit problems.It had planned to pay on results, but now realised that would create problems.Qa says it has reached informal agreements with about half the 58 health authorities in the scheme.

Private health insurer BUPA has revealed it made a record£63m loss last year, despite profits from its hospitals.The company blamed public concerns about the shortcomings of the NHS, which it said had led to a rise in claims.It also suffered high administrative costs in implementing the introduction of tax relief on health insurance for people over 65.

London Ambulance Service's 999 response times are the worst in the country, according to ORCON standards published this week.Only two out of three of its ambulances arrived at emergencies within 14 minutes;

the standards say 95 per cent should arrive within that time.LAS says it is installing a computer system and launching a new fleet to help improve response times.

The Department of Health is to replace the term 'mentally handicapped people'with 'people with learning disabilities', junior health minister Stephen Dorrell has announced.He has also paved the way for social services departments to take over mental handicap hospitals, inviting them to take the lead in developing community services while organising the closure and sale of mental handicap hospitals.

Leading-edge medical treatment is falling victim to health authorities' increased scrutiny of patient referrals, including pioneering dental work, in vitro fertilisation and specialist psychotherapy.

HAs claim they have not been funded to pay for some medical advances excluded from block contracts.