Dear Editor,

i refer to Dr Astrid Cuddigan's letter of a few weeks ago in which she expressed her deep concern over the attitude of Hywel Dda Health Board. I entirely share her concern and I can appreciate why she feels tempted to retire from general practice as a consequence because this is exactly what I did in 1992. I sent my letter of resignation to the Dyfed Health Authority as it was called at that time. In it I stressed that the main reason for my somewhat premature retirement was the totally unacceptable attitude of that authority towards myself, my colleagues and the welfare of our patients.

I thought it might be of interest to reveal the content of their reply: "I am sorry to hear of your concerns about the poor relationship between your practice and the health authority over what appears from your letter to have been a number of years. As you will be aware, in recent months East Dyfed Health Authority and the Family Health Services Authority have confirmed their commitment to work more closely together and I am sure that the new arrangements we are now putting in place will help facilitate an improvement in the relationship between the health authority and general practitioners in Dyfed.

I am particularly sad to learn that your experiences in the past have contributed towards your decision to take early retirement."

So, chin up Astrid! Things do not have appear to have improved at all over the past 22 years and they will undoubtedly get worse.

Derek Rendle (retired GP), Brynhafod, Cardigan