Bradford health authority is working on new ways of developing staff on a multidisciplinary basis - and tackling recruitment problems at the same time. Jan Lee, assistant head teacher at Belle Vue School in Bradford, is on secondment to the HA two days a week. She has set up initiatives to encourage schoolchildren to find out more about a career in the NHS.

One of the latest brings together NHS staff from various disciplines for a one-day Mastermind contest. The pupils put together questions to ask the staff, who range from surgeons to dietitians, finance assistants, occupational therapists and estates managers. Usually the surgeon will be grilled by an audience of 200 in a mock-up of the Mastermind programme. After that, the pupils can put individual questions to staff.

'It is great for the NHS staff as well as the pupils, ' Ms Lee says.

'It gets all the managers together to share good practice. '