Published: 30/09/2004, Volume II4, No. 5925 Page 4

Clinicians are not backing the need for user involvement in improving services, health minister Melanie Johnson told a fringe meeting run by the NHS Confederation and Macmillan Nurses.She said trusts and primary care trusts must see user involvement as integral and not a 'bolt on'.

'Care rationing'must be avoided under new plans for case management of long-term conditions, mental health charity Rethink chief executive Cliff Prior has warned.He said patients who are 'slightly less ill' should not lose out because treatment is focused on more seriously ill patients.

NHSU chief executive Bob Fryer has vowed to succeed over the next 12 months following criticism of the organisation and a proposed internal shake-up.He said the NHSU's job was to 'breathe life into the policy framework'.

Camden and Islington Mental Health and Social Care trust chair Professor David Taylor told a fringe conference meeting that the evidence behind the current drive to ratchet up public health would not stand up to close scrutiny.

Patients will be able to ask for information on a hospital's reported error rate as part of choice at referral, but the National Patient Safety Agency will not publish 'league tables' that will discourage reporting, NPSA chair Lord Hunt told a conference fringe session.