Dr Matt Muijen is right that clinical psychologists are not needed to provide 'low-level counselling' (news, page 4, 27 July).

But their high-level skills are needed, both to help practices improve their recognition of patients with mental health problems (including those who present as physically ill) and improve their overall management of such patients.

These contributions may be critically important to the successful achievement of the national service framework standards for primary care.

I do hope Dr Muijen's comments did not contribute to the bizarre last-minute change in the NHS plan. You reported (news, pages 4-5, 27 July) that the plan would include an extra 1,000 clinical psychologists (a recognised NHS profession) for primary care.

The plan, as published, refers to 1,000 'graduate primary care mental health workers trained in brief therapy techniques of proven effectiveness. . . for all age groups including children'. Who are they? A new staff group? Are they a government-led innovation or government-led cost-cutting?

And why was there a change between the briefing you were given and the publication of the plan?

Bernard Kat Head of primary care and health psychology North Durham Health Care trust