Health minister John Denham has announced government plans to speed up the appointment of trust and health authority non-executive directors. He told last week's NHS Executive conference on human resources that regional boards had set in place 'work to look at how we can streamline processes and avoid some of the delays in the past'. Delays were often due to shortages in information provided or requested, he said, and the government was 'trying to organise a ministerial team' so ministers could be fully briefed on the details of appointments and local circumstances.

See news focus, pages 10-11.