NHS waiting lists rose by 0.9 per cent during May 2001 and now stand at 1.03 million in total.The figures reveal the second consecutive monthly increase but the Department of Health has claimed the rise was due to the introduction of single-use instruments for tonsil and adenoid operations, and a seasonal 'bump'that occurs when NHS staff take leave delayed from the winter months.

Lottery money totalling£110m will be invested in specialist equipment to treat coronary heart disease and strokes, including scanners and defibrillators as well as cardiac rehabilitation and specialist diagnostic laboratories.The move follows a manifesto pledge to cut heart disease, but the National Heart Forum has expressed disappointment that none of the money has been allocated to disease prevention.

A National Institute for Mental Health in England is to be established to co-ordinate research, facilitate training and develop services.Its initial tasks will include creating a network of institutions to support large clinical trials.

Unions representing professions allied to medicine are warning of impending recruitment and retention problems among staff, including physiotherapists and radiographers, after a survey revealed high levels of discontent over pay and workload.The survey, from the PAMs staff-side secretariat, the reported that only 6 per cent said they would definitely continue to work in the NHS.

NHS PAMs Staff-side Secretariat.14 Bedford Row, London WC1R 4ED.

The Department of Trade and Industry is arranging for medical assessment of 140,000 miners and former miners who are seeking compensation from the British Coal Corporation for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.Claimants' medical records will be collected and scanned so they can be assessed by a respiratory specialist.