Medicopolitical Digest

Over 40 bids made for health action zonesImproving the health of ethnic minoritiesNational standard proposed for quality of careConsultants consider changes to contract

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 14 February 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:634

Over 40 bids made for health action zones

Forty one bids have been made in England for the health action zones to tackle health inequalities, which were announced last year (8 November 1997, p 1180).

From these proposals 10 will be picked to go ahead from 1 April. The unsuccessful will be able to bid for the second wave of zones, which are intended to start in April 1999. The government has allocated £4m for joint finance projects in 1998-9 and £30m from 1999-2000, which will be shared between the successful zones.

Several of the bids focus on improving services for older people—for example, community based rehabilitation and alternatives to acute admission; for children and young people—for example, initiatives to improve parenting skills and improving health education; and services for people with mental health problems—for example, proposals for combined mental health teams covering health and social care and targeted services for black and Asian people and young adults.

The health minister, Mr Alan Milburn, said that the zones “will forge new partnerships to provide …

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