21 OCTOBER 1972, Page 26

Reports on patients

Sir: There is a simple explanation for the poor flow of information about patients from the hospitals to the general practitioners (John Rowan Wilson, October 16). Before the National Health Service the consultants at hospitals held honorary positions and they depended for their living on private patients sent to them by the general practitioners. Therefore courtesy towards the general practitioners was necessary and prompt and detailed reports on hospital patients were sent. Now the consultants get most of their income from their paid hospital appointments and so are independent of the goodwill of the general practitioners. Carelessness has thus crept into all their dealings with the general practitioners.

P. K. Thomas

Jasmine Cottage, Hanley Swan, Worcester