Published: 22/04/2002, Volume II4, No. 5902 Page 12 13

Steve Peacock Acting chief executive North West London SHA

1.What is the biggest local challenge your health economy faces?

Harnessing and developing all the talent and potential we have in our sector and trying to improve services with outdated facilities, particularly in primary care (in many cases inappropriate for 21st century healthcare delivery). We have a number of capital investment schemes in place to provide better facilities where they are needed most, but this will take some time to deliver.

2.What is the biggest challenge you face as an SHA?

The Paddington project (see above).

3.What are your current vacancy figures for consultants, GPs, nurses?

For consultants it is 4.6 per cent;

GPs, 2.5 per cent; and for nurses 12.5 per cent.

4.What are the latest figures on three/six/nine/12-month waiters?

No nine or 12-month waiters.

Figures at the end of March: total waiters 26,600, of which 1,849 are waiting over six months (against a plan of 3,095). Thirteen-week outpatient waiters were 1,375 against a plan of 2,773. At end of February (the latest available figures), there were 10,828 overthree months inpatient waiters.

5.What is your biggest public health challenge?

Health inequalities are the biggest challenge to health improvement in the sector. We are currently working with our primary care trusts to develop local strategies and partnerships to tackle those problems associated with disadvantage and poverty. The SHA is also working with PCTs to improve primary care premises and infrastructure