To set the record straight: as invited by the government, I signed up - at very short notice - to the principles which appear before the foreword to the NHS plan.

They are a necessary and important ingredient, including a commitment for the NHS to challenge discrimination on the grounds of age, race, disability and other factors. I have not signed up to the plan itself, although I have participated in discussions on the parts of it which arise from the modernisation action team on professions and the wider workforce.

Barbara Meredith Policy and communications manager Age Concern