My old friend Alex Scott-Samuel (letters, 20 September) in his overstated and partial view of Sir Donald Wilson’s management style overlooks the contradictions in Sir Donald’s character.

Above all, Sir Donald believed in the NHS and supported unconditionally those who shared his passion that nothing was too good for the people of the North West. Behind his tough manner was often the most remarkable humanity - one of many examples was his initiative to use NHS resources to pay for the victims of rape to be looked after and interviewed by police officers in proper surroundings, rather than in police station conditions.

Senior managers who held very different political views were nevertheless willing to give all their energy to the enterprise and were rewarded with his unswerving loyalty.

Sir Donald’s legacy is to be found in a very creative public service in this region, but also in the fact that so many former Mersey and North Western NHS people now hold national leadership positions.

Dr John Ashton Liverpool