Published: 20/12/2001, Volume III, No.5786 Page 23

We thought it might help to allay the concerns of the NHS Confederation and your readers about the new team of health and social care change agents (''Cash for change' team rattles Confed', news, page 9, 6 December).

Your article suggests it is 'astonishing' this team will work separately from the NHS Modernisation Agency. It would be astonishing, but it is not the case.

We will only be able to provide a better service for people if those working in health and social care forge robust and effective partnerships.

The Social Services Inspectorate and the NHS Modernisation Agency have responsibility to lead the way, and we are working more closely together to ensure the new team blends in well with the existing work of the agency, and adds the maximum benefit to frontline staff. In doing this, we hope to encourage others to see that what is needed is less emphasis on where boundary lines are drawn and more emphasis on developing the skills of all staff in working across boundaries.

David Fillingham Director NHS Modernisation Agency Denise Platt Chief inspector Social Services Inspectorate