A £6m strategy to improve the status, training, pay and career opportunities for the professions allied to medicine has been announced by junior health minister Lord Hunt.A new post of therapist consultant is to be created and the first wave of at least 400 will be in place by 2004.The government will make £2m available to fund leadership development for the professions, which include physiotherapists, paramedics and radiographers.The plan, entitled Meeting the Challenge: a strategy for the allied health professions, aims to ensure the work of the groups is acknowledged and that innovation is spread nationally.

www.doh.gov.uk/meetingthechallenge/