A second wave of 15 Health Action Zones have been set up to improve the health of local people by better integrated arrangements for treatment and care. There were 34 bids to share in the Â£50m budget which also provides funding for the11 Action Zones launched in the first wave in April 1998. The successful bidders proposed the most imaginative schemes for addressing needs, modernising services and developing partnerships. The zones now cover 13 million people.
The zones have been established in areas with high levels of deprivation, including high unemployment rates and poor housing. The relaxation of rules within the zones enables the NHS to work closely with local government, voluntary organisation, and local businesses to improve the quality of life. The objectives for each zone depends on local needs, but a typical example is Leicester where the aim is to provide integrated services to meet the health needs of people from ethnic minorities, older people, those with mental heath problems, and parents and children.