Public health minister Tessa Jowell has said she intends to make public health a key part of the UK presidency of the EU. This will include taking forward the tobacco advertising directive and public health issues relating to food law. Ms Jowell is due to chair the EU health council in April, at which topics for discussion will include proposed programmes on rare diseases, injury prevention and pollution-related illnesses.

The NHS Confederation is to hold a 'futurescoping' exercise aimed at building up a picture of the NHS in 2020 and timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary celebrations in July. It will be led by US academic Donald Light and chaired by Nuffield Institute director John Wyn Owen.

Health minister Alan Milburn has allocated pounds1m to the 'doctor-patient partnership programme' founded by the British Medical Association and the Department of Health to support GPs in health promotion work. The money is intended to be used to inform patients about when they should contact their GP, and how to go about it.

The government has announced it is allocating pounds415,000 to help draw up full proposals for 25 personal dental services pilot schemes under the NHS (Primary Care) Act 1997. The pilots, which will aim to produce more flexible and innovative dental services, will begin in October.

Salford community health council has welcomed changes to kidney services in Greater Manchester, including the provision of two specialist renal services based at Manchester Royal Infirmary and Hope Hospital, Salford. The changes have been confirmed by health secretary Frank Dobson, who rejected an alternative proposal to base one of the specialist services at Wythenshawe Hospital.