The Department of Health has established a registry for hip and knee replacements to help monitor individual trusts'performance.The database follows a three-year investigation by the Royal College of Surgeons into the high failure rate of the SM Capital hip.

www. rcseng. ac. uk

A survey for the NHS Alliance claims primary care is 'hamstrung'by the funding system, with more than half of primary care groups and trusts saying they have little or no flexibility in spending decisions.

www. nhsalliance. org

The MMR triple vaccine is to come under scrutiny again with the setting up of a Scottish expert group.

The group, formed in response to a report from the Scottish Parliament's health and community care committee, will examine the 'consequences of pursuing an alternative vaccination policy to MMR'.

Its remit will include reviewing the apparent rise in cases of autism and describing the process of vaccine testing and the monitoring of adverse effects.

An independent expert group has been brought together to explore whether mediation could help resolve NHS complaints in Scotland and bring down the compensation bill.Among those on the panel are Maggie Boyle, chief executive of North Glasgow University Hospital trust, and Tom Divers, chief executive of Lanarkshire health board.

Trusts facing medicolegal problems are being offered access to a new 24-hour advisory phoneline to help get them out of trouble.The service run by the Medical Defence Union allows six named people from each trust to access the MDU website, medicolegal literature and advisory publications.