A study on ambulance response times has found that 59 per cent of people using the 999 service in East Anglia over-estimated the time they actually waited for an emergency ambulance. Three thousand patients, carers and relatives were interviewed by East Anglian Ambulance trust and Anglia Polytechnic University. Only 17 per cent guessed the times correctly.

Cable news broadcaster CNN has won the right to broadcast live pictures from the public inquiry into the 401 deaths of patients treated by serial killer Dr Harold Shipman. But Dame Janet Smith, who heads the inquiry, has ruled that CNN will be banned from part of the inquiry hearing evidence from relatives. The inquiry will start in the spring.

Over 1.2 million women and 84,000 men attended family planning clinics in England in the 12 months to April 2001, according to NHS figures. The peak age for attendance was 16 to 19. Emergency contraception was prescribed 237,000 times, a decrease of 1 per cent on the previous 12 months.

www. doh. gov. uk/public/sb0127

An overwhelming majority of women in Northern Ireland who have travelled to Britain for abortions want to see abortion legalised in their homeland. Almost half the 155 abortion-seekers surveyed had been forced to borrow money to pay for a private abortion or for their travel. The Other Irish Journey, a report by Marie Stopes International on behalf of the Voice for Choice campaign, calls for the extension of the British 1967 Abortion Act to Northern Ireland as a prelude to more progressive legislation.

www. mariestopes. org. uk

Scottish first minister Henry McLeish this week opened the£100m Wishaw General Hospital in Lanarkshire. The scheme is the second in Scotland to be funded by a public-private partnership, and will replace Law Hospital and Bellshill Hospital.