Published: 19/09/2002, Volume II2, No. 5823 Page 6

The TUC has, for the first time, adopted a position of outright opposition to private finance initiatives.The hardline stance was decided at TUC congress last week, where a composite motion proposed by Unison was carried unanimously.The resolution also mandates the TUC general council to 'insist that the government imposes a moratorium'on further PFI projects while research is carried out and to 'expose the failures'of private healthcare companies seeking to provide NHS clinical services.

Planning approval has been given for the UK's largest primary healthcare centre, a£20m, 120,000 sq ft development to house 15 GPs, dental, specialist and Army services in Aldershot.

The developer, Wilky Healthcare Centres, hopes work will be completed in 2004.

The Commission for Health Improvement's annual report has raised concerns that clinical governance strategies have not been implemented 'across every area of clinical activity'at some trusts. It is also worried that some organisations are being 'reactive rather than proactive'and that senior managers are failing to 'share their visions, values and policies' with operational staff.

www. chi. nhs. uk The number of female consultant surgeons has risen to 309, an increase of 12.4 per cent on last year and 47 per cent on three years ago, according to the Royal College of Surgeons, which launched a five-year plan in 1999 to recruit more female surgeons.Women still occupy less than 7 per cent of the 4,893 consultant surgeon posts in the UK.

HSJ has increased its circulation over the past year from 20,016 to 20,928, according to figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulation.

The 4.5 per cent increase bucks the trend in magazine publishing, which has struggled in the financial climate created by the terrorist attacks in the US.