Glasgow Royal Infirmary has launched an urgent inquiry into bed management and hospital porters' workload after a patient lay dead in the middle of a busy ward for four-and-a-half hours when life-saving efforts failed. The trust said no single rooms were free at the time.

Liberal Democrat health spokesman Simon Hughes has tabled an early-day motion in the House of Commons, following consultations with Action for Victims of Medical Accidents, expressing concern that doctors are not legally required to disclose all the circumstances surrounding a patient's death to relatives.

Provisional Scottish Office figures show that 84 per cent of written complaints to trusts from April to June last year were dealt with within 20 working days, up from 78 per cent in 1996-97. Of the 143 written complaints received by health boards in 1996-97, 72 per cent were dealt with within 20 working days.

The NHS Confederation and NHS equal opportunities unit want to find 50 women who have contributed to the NHS in the past half-century, for a book, exhibition and video as part of its 50th anniversary celebration. Contact Emma Woolf, NHS Confederation, Birmingham Research Park, Vincent Drive, Birmingham B15 2SQ.

The Department of Health has approved a new community trust for north Lancashire and south Cumbria. Lancaster Priority Services and South Cumbria Community and Mental Health Services will merge on 1 April to establish Bay Community trust.

The charity, Mind, is appealing to health managers to give evidence to the first national inquiry into the social exclusion of people with mental health problems. It wants to hear of successful projects as well as bad practice. Call 0171-490 0811, or write to: The Mind Inquiry, Kemp House, 152-160 City Road, London EC1 2NP.