Lee Mather,21, who has just started work as a nursing assistant at South Tyneside Health Care trust, has become the 1,000th person to find employment in the NHS under the New Deal scheme.

Work has started on construction of the UK's first joint social services and health private finance initiative scheme. The£4m Sedgley health, library and social services centre in Dudley, West Midlands, is a partnership between Dudley Priority trust, Dudley metropolitan council, Norwich Union public private partnership fund, and builders Yorkon.

Although people in their 50s will have much better health than ever before, there will be an increased rate of separation and divorce, and fitter 50-year-olds will need to support parents who will routinely live into their 80s, according to a report by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Fit to Fifty. ESRC, 01793-413122.

Health secretary Alan Milburn and junior health minister Gisela Stuart toured hospitals and supermarkets to celebrate NHS Direct Day on Monday when the 24-hour nurse-led phoneline was extended England-wide.

The Medical Research Council has announced£8.3m funding for 14 new genetic material collections.

Hospitals and universities will study heart disease, cancers, diabetes, mental health and other conditions where genetic predisposition is a factor.

Sense, the charity for people who are deaf and blind, launches new standards for the provision of services for dual sensory-impaired adults this week.

Sense, 020-7272 7774.

The World Health Organisation says it is 'extremely disappointed' that plans to create a benchmark '. health' suffix guaranteeing the quality and accuracy of health related Internet sites have been rejected by the international body which oversees top-level domain names.