letters

I was very puzzled by the questions that Karlene Davis posed (letters, page 21, 31 May) in response to my comments in HSJ (news, page 2, 10 May).

She says we do not need any reviews of maternity services and then says two major reviews have just started.

I was suggesting that before we spend£100m on maternity units it would be useful to know what some of these reviews might say about their future.

It is nice to be given£100m and many of our maternity units undoubtedly need it, and more, but we should not let this blind us to the fact that the whole issue of the future configuration of maternity services is not resolved.

That is one important reason for the workforce review.

I was merely suggesting that where we can get good evidence to act we should use it, the reviews Ms Davis mentions are probably the best way of getting this, but we do not have the answers and bilateral discussions with the Department of Health are not a good substitute.

Nigel Edwards Director of policy The NHS Confederation