The deaths of as many as 24,000 people a year may be accelerated by the short-term effects of air pollution, the Department of Health's committee on the medical effects of air pollutants has concluded. But it noted that most of the deaths occurred among people with existing, long-standing illnesses.

The Quantification of the Effects of Air Pollution on Health in the United Kingdom. The Stationery Office, pounds16.50.

Unison lodged a 10 per cent pay claim on behalf of 66,000 health service ancillary workers yesterday. The union will be lodging similar claims for administrative, clerical and professional and technical staffs later this week. A spokesperson said this year's claim was for 10 per cent or pounds1,000, whichever was greater.

Staff shortages and poor pay have produced a demoralised workforce which is increasingly prepared to vote with its feet by leaving the NHS, a Unison survey claims today. The survey covers 3,300 NHS employees across all occupational groups, including managers.

Cause for Concern is available from Unison, 0171-388 2366.

The government is expected to publish a white paper setting out its proposals for a new food standards agency this week. The idea of an agency independent of the Ministry of Agriculture has been backed by the British Medical Association.

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy this week received notice of its former chief executive Paul Lambden's application to the Industrial Tribunal Service for a hearing on his allegation of breach of contract. Dr Lambden was suspended following complaints from some members about an after dinner speech he gave to the CSP's annual congress in Edinburgh in September.

The psychiatric and community care received by Desmond Ledgester, who killed a neighbour three months after discharging himself from Halifax General Hospital, are criticised in an independent report published this week. The report says that vital information was not passed between agencies, but it accepts that the killing could not have been predicted. Mr Ledgester is now in Rampton Hospital.