Published: 14/10/2004, Volume II4, No. 5927 Page 10

The chair of the financial ombudsman service has been appointed as director of the foundation trusts'network, part of the NHS Confederation.

Sue Slipman, who will take up post in October, said that foundation trusts should focus their attention on business modelling and the implementation of internal regulatory systems.

The prime minister's former health adviser Simon Stevens has been cleared to start working for new employers UnitedHealth Group in Britain from next month.Mr Stevens, who was appointed president of the firm's new European healthcare company in May, is already working for UnitedHealth Group in the US and continental Europe, but the Cabinet Office blocked him from working for the company in Britain until 1 November.

See Comment, page 19.

The Healthcare Commission is organising the second national workforce survey, which will cover topics including work-life balance, team working, job satisfaction and training.Chief executive Anna Walker said: 'It will allow us to continue to assess and monitor the way staff are managed and how trusts have addressed issues.'

www. healthcarecommission. org. uk

The Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health has warned mental health workers that they need to keep upto-date on benefits information so that service users are not deterred from returning to work.Part of mental health services' role was to help service users return to a fulfilling and active life, said the centre's acting chief executive Angela Greatley.

www. scmh. org. uk

The NHS has appointed an equality and human rights czar.Surinder Sharma, a lawyer with over 25 years'experience, will work on black and ethnic minority representation in the NHS workforce as well as tackling the health inequalities that affect black and ethnic minority communities.Mr Sharma joins from Ford Europe, where he was European diversity director.