Some suggestions for the new welcome NHS patients advocacy liaison service:

give them shopfront city-centre premises; add a free lending library to promote health with a really wide-ranging stock of free health-related leaflets;

set up a focus group of volunteers for each local service;

give the advocates easy access to NHS and local authority decision-makers across their locality - but make sure the disposable budget is no more than£20,000 a year because value for money must be ensured.

Unrealistic? Come again, I actually run exactly such a service in city-centre Liverpool - we call it the community health council and it will be abolished on 31 March 2002.We could always change its name though - New Labour, New CHC?

Elizabeth Powell Chief officer Liverpool Central and Southern CHC