While I agree that unnecessary paperwork is disabling, costly and time-wasting (Yorkshire Terrier, page 20, 2 November), and that outmoded personnel management needs to be revitalised, good human resources management can be enabling. Indeed it can act as the corporate organisational health specialist - particularly when professional organisational development and change management are practised.

Many primary care groups and trusts are struggling with a wide range of organisational development issues - not least, how to run an effective newly emerging organisation. HR offers active support and leadership on transferring and developing the workforce, implementing new structures and processes, and coaching new teams, boards and senior individuals to get to grips with new responsibilities.

Moves around the country to more upbeat models of HR provision are set to bring the administrative personnel support in a more standardised (and thus effective) manner across health communities while looking to offer a more strategic, internal consultancy support to the changes needed for well performing organisations.

HR and personnel have every chance to show their true worth, to gain credibility and gravitas; other managers and clinicians have every opportunity to chivvy this along by engaging in good change-management practices that support the implementation of quality healthcare. They need to do this by engaging in challenging and proactive dialogue with HR/personnel so that strong and mature relationships develop.

Jane Keep Visiting fellow Health services management centre Birmingham University