While sharing your view of the 'faded seaside' venue (news focus, page 14, 7 October), the report from the first conference of the new Institute of Healthcare Management omits the glamour.

As a manager working in primary care for the last 20 years, it is reassuring to learn that the new IHM chief executive's vision is focused on continuing professional development.

This is imperative for all managers and was a theme developed well throughout the two-day conference and by the new leader during a motivating workshop - chaired by the said Stuart Marples, who is reported to profess his humility often.

I am reminded of Professor John Adair, speaking at an Association of Managers in General Practice conference, who said: 'Real excellence goes hand-in-hand with humility, that unlikely leadership virtue.'

The new chief executive does deserve to be taken up a peg or two for his leadership virtue.

Sandra EA Gower Managing partner Bennetts End Surgery Hertfordshire