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Letters Copying letters to patients

Copying patients in is not as simple as it seems

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 10 December 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2687
  1. Brian McKinstry, reader1
  1. 1Primary Care Research, Division of Community Health Sciences: General Practice Section, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH8 9DR
  1. brian.mckinstry{at}

    Richards advocates copying patients into all correspondence on the grounds of improving health literacy,1 but a sizeable minority of people in the UK have general literacy problems and are unlikely to benefit.2

    As currently written, many letters from hospitals are difficult for patients to understand. My colleagues and I have had to explain to alarmed and bewildered patients who have received copies …

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