Letters

I read that people are still agonising about why ministers decided to abolish community health councils (comment, page 19, 29 March).

The answer lies in the frenetic dash to get the NHS plan off to the printers. One of the final drafts carried the barely legible margin note: 'Propose abolition of GMC'. This was read in the early hours of the morning as 'Propose abolition of CHCs'.

Diligent civil servants got to work. . . and the rest is history.

There are two morals to this tale. First, it reminds us that cock-up theory is always far more plausible than conspiracy theory. Second, civil and public servants are brilliant at converting daft ideas into something that can be made to work and may even add value.

Jochen Martens Manchester