Health improvement programmes

I was interested to hear of the London borough of Kingston's plans to incorporate its community care plan into the local health improvement programme of Kingston and Richmond health authority (news focus, page 6, 8 April).

I am sorry to disappoint

Ron Taylor, who had hoped that his authority would be the first to achieve this, but following the agreement of Croydon council and Croydon HA, the community care plan for Croydon has been incorporated in our first HImP.

Croydon was very well placed to be one of the first to achieve this, not least because the council and the HA share the same geographical area, and also because of a history of excellent joint local working.

In our case, it was evident as a result of this close relationship that the HImP and community care plan would cover similar ground.

We therefore took the same view as Ron Taylor and Carole Martin that it really made sense for the documents to be merged.

Given the likelihood of larger HAs in the future once primary care trusts are developed, we will be interested to see how HAs with more than one relating local authority are able to move in the same direction.

Terry Hanafin

Chief executive

Croydon HA