The flagship ambulatory care and diagnostics centre at North West London Hospitals trust has been praised by the Commission for Health Improvement, but in its clinical governance review CHI also found significant problems at the trust, particularly workforce shortages and staff access to patient care information.

www. chi. nhs. uk The government has established a new counter-fraud professional accreditation board. It will develop professional conduct guidelines for members who have completed specialist training to combat fraud in the NHS and across the public sector. Nearly 3,000 staff have completed specialist training over the past two years.

Inter-agency working in child protection is being hampered by the NHS's focus on other major service concerns, according to a book which claims both the size and the fragmented structure of the NHS is undermining coordination with agencies such as social services.

Working Together or Pulling Apart? By Carol Lupton, Nancy North and Parves Khan. Marston Book Services. 01235-465 500.


Cancer charities have defended the national breast-screening programme following publication of a paper in T h e Lancet. It claimed that screening does not reduce breast cancer deaths and may do more harm than good because it leads women to have aggressive treatment for slowgrowing tumours that would not be life-threatening.

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence has advised that sibutramine should be available as 'one part of an overall treatment plan' for obesity.

People offered the drug should have made 'serious attempts' to lose weight and should also be given advice on diet, exercise and behaviour changes.