Letters

Along with many professionals in primary care I applaud NHS Executive human resources director Hugh Taylor for backing joint training for health professionals (news, page 5, 14 October). But until the funding streams for training also become 'joint' it will remain very difficult to organise and encourage involvement in such training.

This health authority is attempting to set up multi-professional clinical governance learner sets for practice based teams. The primary care group clinical governance leads are keen, and practice teams are getting involved. We have been fortunate in attracting funding from the education consortium and from general medical services, and we are negotiating on MADEL. But the process has been complicated and time-consuming as we have had to access each funding stream in a different way, and each has its own set of rules on spending.

Current draft proposals allow primary care trusts and local authorities to pool funds for patient care so resources can be used more freely. Could a similar pooling of education funds occur? This is one way to bring about the change in the 'current rigid structures' that NHS chief executive Sir Alan Langlands asked for. It would make joint training far more likely.

Dr Helen Walters Primary care medical adviser North and Mid Hants HA