Published: 03/11/2005 Volume 115 No. 5980 Page 18

Mick Linsell, director of corporate services, Healthcare Commission

Criticism of the Healthcare Commission's annual staff conference overlooks the value of bringing people together (news, page 12, 20 October).

Events like these are important as our staff are based all around the country. They help develop a shared vision and purpose, as well as skills and knowledge.

This is important in an organisation that is developing a new system for assessing healthcare, supported by an entirely new regional structure.

Birmingham was a sensible central location as half our staff work outside London.

We provide a national service, not a London one. We costed various methods of getting our staff to Birmingham and the train was by far the best value.