Published: 10/04/2003, Volume II3, No. 5850 Page 8

International development charity VSO is targeting health managers in a recruitment drive to tackle a dramatic reduction in the number of volunteers. Since 11 September the charity has seen a drop in volunteers from the UK by 40 per cent, which the charity believes is rooted in a fear of global insecurity.Now VSO is focusing on key areas of need in developing countries - and looking for professionals from specific skill areas, including health management.

www. vso. org. uk

Matrons in charge of NHS accident and emergency departments will each receive at least£10,000 from a new£2m budget to spend on improving cleanliness and hygiene in emergency departments.They will be able to spend the money on extra cleaning, decoration, redesigning reception areas, improving children's play areas and providing drinks and snack machines.

www. doh. gov. uk

A report from think tank Reform is recommending a move to insurance-based healthcare.The Commission on the Reform of Public Services argues that the current policy of 'tax and spend' is damaging, money is being wasted and that with structural reform Britain could have better public services and lower taxes. It calls for patientbased entitlements, or a system of compulsory insurance modelled on systems in Switzerland and Singapore.

www. reformbritain. com.

Wales has been chosen to host the latest National Institute for Clinical Excellence national collaborating centre.The centre will have responsibility for developing guidance for the NHS on treating and caring for people with cancer. It will be based at Velindre trust in Cardiff and will work in partnership with the University of Wales College of Medicine.

www. nice. org. uk