- Health Improvement Programmes (HImPs) are a key innovation in the Government's health policy. They are intended to bring together the main statutory and voluntary bodies in each health authority area, to plan and deliver measures to improve the health of the local population. The first round of HImPs was completed by April 1999. The next is due for submission by September 1999. The King's Fund asked selected London-based health authorities, local authorities and primary care groups about their perceptions of HImPs, the structures and processes involved in developing partnerships, approaches to priority setting and health inequalities, and public involvement and accountability. Across all three sectors, there was a positive response to the concept of HImPs, although those working in the public sector, particularly in the NHS, are at risk of being overwhelmed by the pace of change. As primary care groups develop, the future of health authorities is uncertain, with the role and location of public health expertise (which could play an important part in HImPs) being called into question. Partnerships, and the leadership within them, is discussed, as are the advantages and potential disadvantages of public involvement in HImPs. The importance of channelling resources into appropriate activities and using indicators to evaluate progress is also highlighted.