News in brief

Council nurses on call

Employees who phone in sick to York City Council are being passed on to phone-based nurses. It is hoped the three-month pilot in the council’s adult services department will help reduce sickness absence, which cost the department £2.3m in 2003-04. The scheme is being operated by healthcare provider FirstAssist.

Help for young men

The Government has launched a series of health promotion pilots in Camden, Manchester and Bedfordshire to study the causes of suicide among young men. The scheme encourages young men to seek help earlier and advises them on how to access relevant services.

Inspections decline

A Health & Safety Executive (HSE) change in strategy will reduce the number and frequency of workplace inspections, putting lives at risk, the union Amicus has warned. The union said the HSE is moving away from regulation and pursuing a more voluntary approach.

Health advice for 40s

The Government is targeting men and women aged over 40 in its latest health drive. GPs have been issued with free guides that give advice on common illnesses such as diabetes, back pain and heart disease, and provide information on living a healthier lifestyle.

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