Derbyshire Ambulance Service claims to have improved its response performance after its nine-month trial of a mobile computing system. The Medical Priority Dispatch system prioritises deployment of ambulances according to the severity of incidents. Crews carry a 'ruggedised', Pentium- based PC called Databrick, supplied by Datalux, which allows them to record patient data on the move and transmit it ahead by radio to the hospital accident and emergency system.

The Royal Berkshire and Battle Hospitals trust in Reading is going ahead with an internal messaging and intranet service based on Microsoft Exchange 5.0, after a successful three-month trial. The trust has set up an Active Server Pages intranet site carrying clinical support services, personnel procedures, library catalogues and nursing news. A spokesperson said a third of the messages sent in the trial replaced phone calls and 10 per cent avoided urgent hand delivery of documents.

The NHS Confederation has contradicted a leaked warning by Scottish secretary Donald Dewar that territorial army troops could be needed to cope with failure of key services if the year 2000 bug strikes. The confederation said it 'did not envisage the need for support from the armed forces during the millennium holiday period', and trusts were planning to ensure normal service.