What a pity that, despite the national beds inquiry, the future of healthcare may rest on the thoughts and opinions of whoever happens to be your health authority chief executive ('All things to all men, ' 17 February).

If you live in Kidderminster your healthcare will be decided by Pat Archer-Jones, that 'doyenne of the 'stonewa l l' schoo l of pub l ic relations' (letters, 29 July 1999) who will be 'alarmed' if the national beds inquiry leads health secretary Alan Milburn to increase acute bed numbers.

If you live in Eastbourne, Alan Randall welcomes the beds inquiry with a great sigh of relief, as he remains unconvinced by the arguments surrounding the 'closer to home' model and believes there is still a major need for acute hospital care for elderly people. Is this really the way to decide how to interpret and implement patterns of care to answer the needs of patients?

RT Taylor Chair Save Kidderminster Hospital Campaign and Health Concern