Published: 05/02/2004, Volume II4, No. 5891 Page 27

The National Clinical Assessment Authority welcomes the government's review of all NHS arm's-length bodies (news focus, pages 14-15, 22 January).

A clear need has been identified to support the NHS in responding to concerns about the performance of individual doctors and dentists; and the priority is to ensure this need continues to be met.

It is, however, important to correct the government source quoted. Since April 2001, when NCAA came into operation, around 70 per cent of trusts have accessed our service for advice support or assessment - a far cry from the government source's claim that 'there are not many within the service that are using [NCAA]'.

NCAA holds public board meetings bi-monthly, at which detailed case activity reports are presented.

We would welcome anyone who seeks clarity on our level of activity to attend these meetings.

Guy Davies Director of service delivery NCAA