Published: 10/03/2005, Volume II5, No. 5946 Page 20

Stephen Eames, chief executive, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership trust

It was unfortunate that in your otherwise excellent article about mental health foundation trusts that you, perhaps inadvertently, aired an urban myth about mental health leaders ('Peak conditions', pages 28-30, 17 February).

The anonymous insider who questioned the calibre of chief executives, chairs and finance directors in the mental health arena was ill-informed and clearly susceptible to stereotyping.

For example, the three mental health organisations in Cheshire and Merseyside are led by chief executives with a wide range of leadership experience in all sectors of health service management.

This amounts to a collective body of experience of public service leadership of over 50 years.

If the future of the health service is about involving patients and communities, developing productive partnerships with purpose and leading in and across complex systems, then it seems to me that leaders in mental health are at the very least as well equipped as any others to set and deliver the agenda.