7 NOVEMBER 1992, Page 29

First things first

Sir: The Right Honourable Virginia Bot- tomley, MP, Secretary of State for Health, draws attention (Letters, 31 October) to the error in your traditionally correct but anachronistic address to her as 'Mrs Peter Bottomley'.

Congratulations on your unique success in eliciting a letter from the distinguished expert on forms of address, and, inter alia, on the Health of the Nation. No doctor, including the undersigned retired surgeon, has ever, to my knowledge, received any acknowledgement from her or from the Department of Health of any letter addressed to her at the House of Commons or to any of her staff at the Elephant.

It is, of course, only to doctors and nurses that the future of the NHS seems more important than current correct forms of address.

Michael Reilly

Magnolia Cottage, Harrowbeer Lane, Yelverton, Devon