Published: 17/04/2003, Volume II3, No. 5851 Page 8

Hospitals with high rates of 'superbug'MRSA infection have been rated as having 'good'or 'acceptable' levels of hygiene by the Department of Health, the Liberal Democrats have claimed. It looked at the 20 acute and 20 specialist trusts that had the highest proportion of MRSA cases and found that 28 were classified as having a 'good' standard of hygiene and 12 were judged 'acceptable' in February's clean hospital figures.

It is essential for primary care trusts to collaborate to achieve effective commissioning of specialised services, a Department of Health consultation has been told.Respondents decided unanimously that PCTs must team up if they are to commission specialised services such as treatment of patients with HIV.A majority of respondents thought PCTs should delegate authority to a joint PCT subcommittee for commissioning.

www. doh. gov. uk

A radical approach is needed to overcome shortages among mental health staff, according to a new book by the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health. It argues that workforce planning places too much reliance on recruiting new staff through conventional training and education.The ongoing inquiry by the King's Fund into mental health services in London has warned that high staff turnover and over-reliance on agency staff is hampering efforts to reform the service.

A Mental Health Workforce for the Future: a planner's guide. The Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health.

London's Mental Health Workforce: a review of recent developments.

www. kingsfundbookshop. org. uk.

More than 700 people were referred to NHS vacancies in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire following what is thought to have been the first Jobcentre NHS Week in the country.

Full figures are not yet available, but around 20 per cent of those matched with vacancies were nurses.