Published: 01/07/2004, Volume II3, No. 5912 Page 23

The NHS Alliance allied health professional and primary care practitioners' network is encouraged by the new focus on public health and chronic-disease management described in HSJ (news, pages 3-4, 10 June).

It is disappointing to see that policy makers have overlooked the invaluable contribution of at least a dozen professional groups.

Allied professionals and primary care practitioners have experience ofbridging the gaps between health and social care and primary and secondary services and across professional boundaries.

As we explain in recent NHS Alliance paper Allied Health Professionals and Primary Care Practitioners: leading patientfocused care for people with longterm illness, this approach can provide the essential blurring of the false boundaries - sometimes described as working at the fuzzy edges of healthcare.

Joanna Powell Physiotherapist NHS Alliance AHP/PCP network lead for new general medical services contract NHS Alliance