A Liberal Democrat policy review has called for a six-month maximum waiting time for all NHS operations. The review, to be debated at the party's conference this month, also says health authorities and social services departments should be merged and given the power

to boost budgets with local taxes.

Moving Ahead: towards a citizen's Britain. Liberal Democrats policy unit, 4 Cowley St, London SW1P 3NB. 4.50.

The government has announced a review of the UK Transplant Support Service Authority. The review, to be completed by the end of the year, will look at UKTSSA's performance and how transplant support services should be organised in the future.

A new organisation has been launched 'dedicated to the development of all those who work in a primary care environment'. The

Primary Care Learning Association is chaired by Wendy Garcarz, training adviser at Birmingham health authority.

Unison has launched a charter calling for better wages, conditions, training and support for Britain's 'forgotten army' of 150,000 home care workers, arguing that they provide 'vital' support for people living in the community.

Junior health minister Baroness Hayman has said the government is committed to reducing the number of premature births in

Britain. Speaking at a conference organised by Tommy's Campaign in London, she said low birthweight was often linked to 'social disadvantage', teenage pregnancy and smoking.

The screening failure at Exeter mentioned in passing in our News Focus last week ('Scanning the options', page 9) referred to problems last year at the East Devon breast screening service, and not to cytology screening.

Topics