18 JUNE 1994, Page 28

Defending Dalrymple

Sir: D. L. Crosby (Letters, 4 June) provides us with a useful summary of Theodore Dal- rymple's views, and one to which many of us working in the NHS would be happy to put our names. Unfortunately he describes the views as `so riddled with bias that it is difficult to know where to begin'.

This week I attended a meeting `to dis- cuss the formulation of a good practice document for all services, development of standards, and development of a suitable audit system'. Even the chairman had no idea what a 'good practice document' was, and the rest of the meeting was equally incomprehensible.

Later on, I discovered that one of our patients would have to wait at least two months for her urgent surgery, following the diagnosis of a bleeding rectal cancer.

Truly, the topsy-turvy world described by Dr Dalrymple does exist.

Jonathan Sleath

The Villa, Kingstone, Herefordshire