Your report on progress made in protecting patient confidentiality on the NHS network (News, page 5, 18 December) implies that there was some significance in my absence from the launch of the Caldicott report.

This is simply not the case. I was not present because I had a number of previous commitments and the launch was arranged at quite short notice. It would have been odd to break those commitments when the British Medical Association's strong support for the report was so clearly signalled by the presence of Sandy Macara, with whom I had worked on all our submissions to Caldicott and other parallel groups.

I am unhappy at the inference that I hold a different view from BMA colleagues on the breakthrough achieved. I do not.

Vivienne Nathanson,

Head of ethics and science,