We accept that there is much still to be done in Somerset to involve service users in planning and developing mental health services ('Are you listening to me?', news focus, page 14, 28 October).

It has always been our intention to include service users and carers on the joint commissioning board.

We have now achieved this and believe it provides a genuine opportunity for them to influence future developments. The statutory agencies won't always get it right, and we want service users to tell us how we can improve.

We have acknowledged service users' concerns about a potential loss of choice from an integrated health and social care service by providing the funding for a new county-wide advocacy and participatory service.

Your article raises important issues, but did not give sufficient weight to the constructive relationships developing with service users in Somerset.

Jane Lock Chair Joint commissioning board (Deputy leader, Somerset county council) Jane Barrie Vice-chair Joint commissioning board (Chair, Somerset health authority)