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Clinic letters revisited
  1. Martin R Turner1,
  2. Phillip E M Smith2
  1. 1 Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Oxford University, Oxford, UK
  2. 2 Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Martin R Turner, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Oxford University, Oxford OX1 2JD, UK; martin.turner{at}

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Seasoned readers of Practical Neurology may recall Richard Davenport’s treatise on the practicalities of the clinic letter.1 One of the few negatives of the increasing move from paper to digital records is that it is no longer easy to read old letters, which sometimes go back many decades. Beyond the nostalgic sight of ‘carbon copies’ of classic typewriter print on wafer-thin paper, we are reminded of the dramatic changes in language and tone of the clinic letter. Copying correspondence to patients has been a major force in improving the quality of letters. Knowing that the patient will read the letter provides a strong incentive for accurate, clear and polite accounts of consultations.2

Yet, parts of contemporary …

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  • Contributors All the authors contributed equally to the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests PEMS is co-editor of Practical Neurology.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed by Richard Davenport, Edinburgh, UK and Rhys Thomas, Newcastle, UK.

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