Whatever became of health action zones? Since most exist almost entirely in the collective imaginations of their partner organisations ('early days yet to see results... process of building partnerships takes time...'), they are perhaps the ultimate in NHS virtual reality - and therefore natural web entities.

Indeed, some have already made it into cyberspace - perhaps most notably the Tyne and Wear HAZ, which offers a slick, attractive and informative guide to its activities and plans. It has also rather enterprisingly exploited the first-come, first-served principle to bag the definitive www.haz.co.uk name.

Full marks yet again, then, to Priority Healthcare Wearside trust, which set up the site, having already had a hit with its excellent online health promotion service. In practical terms, the HAZ site offers partner bodies access to key documents, and aims ultimately to be a 'shop window' for local people.

Elsewhere, few people have tried very hard. South Yorkshire Coalfields HAZ is up there, courtesy of Barnsley council, as are the Salford, Trafford and Manchester HAZ bid and St Helens and Knowsley Health 2000. But they all seem to have lost interest in updating their efforts some time ago.

Back in the real world, meantime, there is a little more evidence of progress: the King's Fund's report on Local Inequalities Targets gives some examples of HAZ initiative: both Bradford and East London and the City, for example, are setting HAZ targets to reduce inequalities.

But the most notable point to emerge from the report is its conclusion that so many government initiatives aiming to co-ordinate inequalities work are now under way - HAZs, welfare to work, employment zones, the national childcare strategy and Sure Start - that they in turn now require better co-ordination. Joined up government indeed.