Prime minister Tony Blair has been urged to support global rules controlling tobacco marketing in the forthcoming white paper on smoking. The call comes from the World Development Movement campaign, which is trying to stop tobacco companies 'aggressively marketing' products in the third world to replace sales lost in developed countries.

The NHS Confederation has welcomed health secretary Frank Dobson's 'bold' decision to put a temporary ban on prescribing the anti-impotence drug Viagra on the NHS. Chief executive Stephen Thornton said it was essential to avoid 'post code' prescribing of Viagra.

Age Concern will next week present papers to the Royal Commission on long-term care for the elderly calling for a 'state contributory long term care scheme' so 'the current generation can meet their own needs in the future'.

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Welsh health minister Jon Owen Jones has announced that 250,000 is being made available to recruit a director for a new paediatric intensive care unit at University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff. The cash will establish a retrieval service for sick children.

The UK's largest trade associations representing nursing homes and residential care homes are to merge.

The National Care Homes Association and Registered Nursing Home Association hope to establish the 'streamlined' body, Partners in Care, early next year.

A new 'standards package' to help care homes provide a better service will be launched by the King's Fund Health Quality Service next month. A consumer's guide is being launched simultaneously.

Home from Home: Your Guide to Choosing a Care Home, Kings Fund, 11-13 Cavendish Square, London W1M 0AN. 5.95.