The newly formed UK Public Health Association has decided to appoint a new chief executive to replace the present joint chief executives, Maggie Winters and Donald Reid.

They ran the UKPHA's predecessor organisations, the Public Health Alliance and the Association for Public Health. The new chief executive is due to be appointed by January.

The UKPHA has decided to set up 'trial' special interest groups to assess which areas to develop as a national organisation. The first will tackle issues around health, housing and environmental health.

UKPHA chair Geof Rayner said he hoped the organisation would be able to stretch its capacity by using new technology. Invitations to its first council meeting last week were e-mailed, and work will be done by tele- conferencing. The UKPHA is also hoping to set up a 'health portal' website.