Sir: It would be far more reasonable to offer the NHS Direct service of telephone advice by nurses as optional rather than totally denying access to one's GP (report, 27 February). When the NHS's litigation costs are at an all-time high, it would be interesting to see the impact of NHS Direct on negligence claims.
Given the known pitfalls of giving advice or diagnosing without access to the patient's records, should not the Government try to reassure the public before imposing restrictions on patients' fundamental rights?
Dr JAYANTHA ILANGARATNE
Beverley, North Humberside