Doctors have accused Welsh health authorities of pre-empting consultation on the setting up of local health groups as envisaged by the government's white paper. British Medical Association Welsh council chair Bryn John said he was disturbed that HAs seemed to be making decisions before the legal framework for the groups had been decided.

Lincoln County Hospital has asked 146 women to return for repeat cervical cancer smears or further examination after a review found that 180 tests over the past five years had been wrongly diagnosed. Follow-up treatment has been received by the other 34 women. A consultant pathologist who reported a low number of abnormalities is no longer checking smear tests at the hospital.

The Appeal Court has given a woman permission to seek pounds1m damages from Leicestershire HA for a medical blunder nearly 50 years ago. Josephine Smith, now 54, won a High Court ruling two years ago that a Leicester General Hospital radiologist was negligent in wrongly diagnosing a spinal tumour as spina bifida in the mid-1950s, but was refused compensation because of the 'enormous delay'. The HA is considering the implications of the Appeal Court decision.

An investigation into the work of suspended surgeon Christopher Ingoldby has been extended by Pinderfields and Pontefract Hospitals trust because of the number of patients who have expressed concerns about his work. Pharmacist Bill Darling, chair of Gateshead and South Tyneside HA, will chair a panel conducting the investigation. Two consultant surgeons will act as medical assessors.

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly HA this week agreed to close four community hospitals and a maternity unit to help generate savings of pounds4m in a revised five-year service strategy.