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Paper: towards a new future (Editorial)

Internet may be good, but paper is still king, at least for GPs in the Northern & Yorkshire Region. A recent survey indicated that almost 40% of GPs read it cover to cover every month. But from 2001 the way Bandolier is funded will change as R&D budgets tighten. There will be continued support for the knowledge production, but not for paper copies in the same way as now.

Bandolier is seeking to forge a stronger partnership with primary care groups, health authorities and trusts. In the next few weeks Bandolier will be writing to chief executives with preliminary details of a new scheme centred around local distribution. The aim is to minimise costs of production while maintaining that independent look at how to help decision makers find and appraise evidence, and how to put it into practice.

The more organisations participating, and the more copies printed, the lower will be the unit cost of each copy. Just what the costs will be depends on uptake in a direct way. Initial projections are that if half of all PCGs participate, then it will be possible to deliver 100 copies of Bandolier per month to each PCG for about £500 a year. This is about 40p per copy per month, the price the NHS has paid for the last seven years since Bandolier began.

We will keep you in touch in later issues as the story unfolds, but in the meantime readers who appreciate Bandolier might wish to nudge their institution.

Internet update

After some months of server confusion Bandolier on the Internet is delighted to be back with its previous hosts in the University of Oxford Medical School. The address will get you to this revamped site. Previous stories have been aggregated into over 30 topic headings, and there is a superlative new search engine. Make sure that you change your address book, and email a friend with the address.

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