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Balancing the books. . .Walsgrave Hospital expansion. . .Minimum wage. . .Internal market reforms. . .Douglas Hague resigns. . .

Two-thirds of trusts expect to reduce activity or make further efficiency savings to balance their books by the end of the financial year, a survey has found.Meanwhile, almost one-tenth of health authorities fear their cash allocation is insufficient and are seeking to make cuts, borrow from regional services or re-negotiate contracts.More than 80 per cent of HAs say higher patient activity and late notification of cash limits have led to problems with contracts.

Coventry's Walsgrave Hospital has drawn up expansion plans which could lead to the closure of services at a rival unit.Chief executive David Loughton said the city was 'vastly overbedded', and that Walsgrave could provide 'better-quality services at cheaper prices' than the smaller Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital.

Health professionals are demanding a national minimum wage and reductions in poverty to 1980 levels, in response to health secretary William Waldegrave's health promotion green paper, The Health of the Nation - which makes no mention of poverty.Public health experts warn that without these measures the strategy will fail.

The Institute of Health Services Management has backed Labour Party claims that the internal market reforms have curbed patients' rights to choose where they are treated. In one example, residents of a Midlands village were told they could not receive treatment from a nearby hospital because, according to local GPs, 'the money had run out'.

Northern region's chief executive, Douglas Hague, has unexpectedly resigned after eight years in post.Three regional health authorities are now without permanent managers.

Meanwhile, Keith McLean has been appointed to the regional general manager's post at Yorkshire RHA.