Headlines: July 1st, 1999

Health Secretary Frank Dobson has called for ideas leading to health improvement. The 26 Health Action Zones have been invited to come up with innovative ideas and to recommend front line health professionals for a six month fellowship to pursue areas of interest. The purpose of Action Zones is to improve services locally for the 13 million people they serve and to learn lessons that can be applied throughout the country.

A 4m pound innovation fund is available for ideas concerned with promoting early interventions, addressing the causes of ill health and early treatments. This will foster the approach of developing Health Action Zones into laboratories for health improvement.

The fellowship scheme will provide for some 20 health professionals to contribute to the achievement of their local programme and to promote leading edge practice.The fellows will be seconded out of their posts for six months to take forward a project or piece of research relating to an aspect of their local programme. Proposals will have to include a multi-agency and multi-disciplinary partnership approach.