The national priorities guidance sets targets for joint working. Joint funding proposals were spelt out last month in a consultation document, Partnership in Action.

Lead commissioners: a single agency - health authority, primary care trust or social services authority - could use a pooled budget to commission health and social care.

Transferring funds: HAs will get powers to transfer funds to local authorities to set up projects under the HImP, and local authorities will be able to shift resources to health. HAs will be able to delegate powers to primary care trusts.

Timetable: legislation will be introduced in the next parliamentary session to take effect from 2000.