Colin Brown's article "New watchdog to crack down on medical blunders" (29 October) states that the Prime Minister "warned the BMA that the pace of change in the NHS would not be slowed, despite its protests". It would take an alert reader to spot that this is a reference to Mr Blair's party conference speech and was not contained in the speech from the Prime Minister launching the Commission for Health Improvement.
The British Medical Association has signalled its strong support for the work of the new Commission. Patients have the right to expect consistently high standards throughout the NHS. Doctors, managers and other health service professionals have a duty to learn from the example of those offering the best quality care and to act promptly to remedy weaknesses in performance.
Ironically, it is the medical profession's desire to achieve uniformly high standards of care which can lead to charge of "conservatism". The best doctors are both innovative and cautious. They are excited by the prospect of new treatment techniques, new systems and new drugs, but they expect them to be vigorously tested for safety and efficacy before they are routinely introduced.
Dr IAN BOGLE
Chairman of Council
British Medical Association
London WC1Reuse content