Published: 31/10/2002, Volume II2, No. 5829 Page 6

A guide to best practice in ear, nose and throat services has been published by the Modernisation Agency. It was released as the Audit Commission issued its report examining access to ENT.

Launching the guide, health minister John Hutton noted the results of the Action on ENT programme in King's Lynn, where waiting times dropped from nine months to two weeks.

www. modern. nhs. uk/action-on

Junior health minister Lord Hunt has launched consultation on the maximum price scheme for generic medicines used in primary care.The consultation, required by EU law, proposes rolling forward the current scheme unchanged, pending decisions on long-term future arrangements.

Consultation ends on 29 November.

www. doh. gov. uk/generics

The National Treatment Agency has issued new guidance and publications, including summaries of new frameworks for drug treatment, an overview of drug action teams'plans to fund and develop drug treatment overseas and a directory of treatment services. It is also calling for sites to pilot crack cocaine treatment and a manual on treatment.

www. nta. nhs. uk

Health minister Jacqui Smith has launched the Integrated Care Network bringing together social services and health.The network will work with local authorities, trusts and primary care trusts and offer support to those who wish to work in partnership.

www. doh. gov. uk

In our 10 October edition (news, page 7), we stated that John Langan steered Kingston Hospital trust through a merger following the closure of Queen Mary's Hospital, Roehampton.

Queen Mary's has never been closed although a number of its services were relocated in 1997 and 1998.Queen Mary's continues as a community hospital offering diagnostics, treatment and rehabilitation.