Contracts have been signed for the ninth major hospital to be built under the private finance initiative. Building work on a £155m hospital for Bromley will start shortly.

A community hospital has opened in Withernsea. The£2.5m hospital was developed under the private finance initiative by Hull and Holderness Community Health trust in partnership with Chiltern Securities.

Guidance from the NHS Executive says£50m of the government's winter pressures money is being kept back 'to deal with particular local difficulties and bottle-necks'. It will not be awarded to 'bail out' poor performance.

Additional Money for Patient Care this Winter. www.open.gov.uk/doh/coinh.htm

Junior health minister Baroness Hayman has announced allocations totalling almost£430m for NHS research and development this year. More than 300 hospitals and GPs are being directly allocated£358m. A further£68m is being spent on initiatives through the NHS research and development programme.

Details of plans for special nurses to commemorate the memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, have been unveiled. The nurses will specialise in supporting children with

life-threatening illnesses in their own homes.

Guidance to help the NHS plan for major emergency incidents has been launched to consolidate guidance issued over the past 10 years.

www.open.gov.uk/doh/epcu/

index.htm

Ten out the 15 suppliers of GP computer systems have still not disclosed whether their software could fail at the end of 1999, according to the NHS Executive's year 2000 monitoring group. It says health authorities must move forward on ordering replacement GP systems, even though they do not know what software will be abandoned by suppliers.