The first 30 health action zone fellowships have been awarded by health minister John Hutton.

The fellowships, for which£500,000 of funding has been identified, are designed to allow frontline staff to develop new ideas and services. Staff are seconded from their posts for six months and the scheme provides up to£15,000 for salary reimbursement and academic support. Mr Hutton said: 'Frontline staff see the consequences of poverty and ill health every day. They have the innovative ideas needed to tackle the problems.' Full details will be available on a website to be launched next week.