Jeff French's optimistic enthusiasm for health promotion in the current NHS environment is to be welcomed (Career Profile, 19 November). However, we must be cautious about what can be done via the health promotion specialist. I have no doubt about our skill-mix and professional competence, but we are few in number. Surely the future lies with our ability to develop the health promotion skills of those professional groups that work directly with the public and in the community.

Investment in the development and delivery of accredited health promotion courses will be a viable way of supporting the NHS initiative to make a real impact on health status. As the only trust providing a validated certificate course, we can enable many professionals to integrate health promotion initiatives into their mainstream activities. Quality and quantity in health promotion have been in short supply; now is the time to address that by using the specialist health promoter to train those who can implement health promotion initiatives.

Ann Wylie

Course director

Richard Shircore

Training manager and course tutor

Berkshire Health Promotion

Reading University