Short cuts

Health and social services in Northern Ireland are to receive an extra£732m over the next three years to boost a wide range of programmes, including children's services, cancer and renal services, and community care. Health minister John McFall said detailed decisions on how the extra money would be spent would ultimately be a matter for the Northern Ireland assembly. But in 1999-2000 it was planned to use the money to promote independence among people who might otherwise opt for residential or nursing care, to improve services for people with mental health problems or learning disability, and to modernise hospital services. Some of the money will also be spent on tackling waiting lists.