Acute bed efficiency. . .Bawdy party raises ire. . .Guy's denies government handout. . .GPs demand complaints payment. . .Body goes missing

Published: 10/01/2001, Volume 112, No. 5787 Page 10

Improved efficiency could eliminate the need for 27,000 acute beds from the current total of 85,000 in England, says the Audit Commission.

It has identified 'significant variations' between hospitals in the efficiency with which beds are used.Some patients are referred inappropriately, while junior doctors often admit inappropriately.Patients are admitted to inappropriate wards and consultants'opinions on length of stay may lack any firm scientific base.

A floorshow at the Guy's Hospital trust board Christmas party, which included scantily dressed female dancers and Irish jokes, has been criticised by staff and community health council members.The event cost the hospital's special trustees£1,800.

Guy's Hospital has denied the government has bailed it out of financial problems with a generous share of capital funds. It will be allowed to borrow£36m in 1992-93 to help fund its phase-three development, roughly three and a half times the next most generous external financing limit among other first-wave trusts.

GPs in Manchester are demanding to be paid for attending patients' complaints hearings.The action means complaints are not being heard, and CHCs fear GPs in other areas could follow suit.

The British Medical Association says GPs are having to devote time to ever lengthier hearings.

Pressure of work on the busiest day in the history of the West Midlands ambulance service meant a body was lost in a mortuary for four days.Police in Birmingham searched for a 60 year-old diabetic patient who had already collapsed and died in the street.His body was discovered in the city mortuary.