Published: 12/12/2001, Volume II2, No. 5835 Page 22

I was pleased to read Daloni Carlisle's article 'Freeze frame' (news focus, 14 November). The scandal of suspended doctors has for many years been a major concern to me. I have an investigative background, spending several years at the General Medical Council solicitors, and therefore have been actively involved in the disciplinary process.

The unacceptable practice of lengthy suspensions will continue until a mechanism is in place to competently and expeditiously investigate matters leading up to a suspension. The NHS has never been good at handling suspicion, nor indeed whistleblowers, as evidenced by many high-profile cases in recent years. It is sad so much money is wasted on lawyers called in for subsequent damage limitation.

Peter Jay Chief executive MedicoLegal Investigations