Health secretary Alan Milburn has announced that around 400 nurses have joined the NHS from Spain since an Anglo-Spanish agreement was drawn up a year ago.They are set to by joined by around 80 hospital doctors and GPs by the end of the year.Mr Milburn said the NHS aimed to recruit at least 1,000 doctors and 2,000 nurses from overseas within four years.

A£250,000 research project into foot and mouth disease in North Cumbria has been launched by the Department of Health.A team from Lancaster University will examine the health and social consequences of the outbreak.Fifty local people will be recruited to assess the impact of the disease on health, and help devise policies to alleviate potential consequences.

London's first leadership academy has been launched this week to help clinical and management leaders deliver the modernisation agenda.The brainchild of London regional office, it will offer a series of programmes to transform NHS teams, services and organisations throughout the capital.Health minister John Hutton said: 'This will result in participants gaining a Masters degree in leadership.'

Regionally based mental health development centres are to be established under the auspices of the National Institute for Mental Health to form a 'national grid'of development and learning.The centres will promote audit, implementation of National Institute for Clinical Excellence guidance and strategies for adopting new service developments.

Doctors' leaders are warning the government not to expand the number of intermediate care beds on the cheap.The NHS plan promises 5,000 extra beds and 1,700 non-residential care places.A joint paper, published by health groups including the British Medical Association, the Royal College of GPs and the NHS Alliance, says intermediate care should not be a 'cheap option' to cut bed-blocking.