Published: 05/02/2004, Volume II4, No. 5891 Page 6

Extending the Sure Start programme to older children and young people is one of a number of recommendations in a widespread report on tackling poverty.Overcoming Disadvantage draws together five specially commissioned research papers on ways to reduce social disadvantage over the next 20 years. It is produced to mark the start of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation's centenary.

www. jrf. org. uk

Six per cent of staff hours were lost to sickness absence in the NHS in Wales in 2002-03 at a cost of£66m, according to a report by the auditor general for Wales.Sir John Bourn's report found it was unlikely any trusts will achieve the Welsh Assembly's target of a 30 per cent reduction in sickness absence by the end of 2003-04.

www. agw. wales. gov. uk

Emergency care czar Professor Sir George Alberti last week thanked NHS staff at the top 20 performing accident and emergency departments for their work.Staff from trusts that had shown consistent and improved performance towards the A&E total-time target were invited to a seminar.

Ideas discussed there will be shared with the service through the NHS Modernisation Agency's emergency service collaborative.

Mental health charity Mind has published a booklet intended to give practical guidance to the 250,000 people admitted to psychiatric hospital each year.How to Cope with Hospital Admission 'demystifies the admissions process and offers practical advice on a range of issues from what to bring to hospital, to how you can expect to be treated by staff and other patients'.

www. mind. org. uk/osb

North and East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire strategic health authority last week approved the business case for the redevelopment of Selby War Memorial Hospital by Selby and York primary care trust.