Published: 10/04/2003, Volume II3, No. 5850 Page 22

I read with interest the article 'On the Fiddle' (news focus, pages 12-13, 27 March) which raised a number of important issues.

I cannot comment in an informed way about the quality of the reviews you highlighted.

However, I can confidently record from personal experience, and other experiences shared with me, that there have been a number of investigations into the performance of NHS chief executives that fail to measure up when set against the simple test of the following key principles:

The establishment of clear, unambiguous terms of reference shared with all parties

Ensuring the appointment of an experienced individual with appropriate credentials and impartiality to undertake the review.

The application of the principles of natural justice It seems to me that at the moment there are too many variables when these events occur, leading to career loss or damage for too many senior NHS professionals at a time when the service needs them most.

Stephen Eames Chief executive Cheshire and Wirral Partnerships trust