Letters Medical secretaries

Medical secretaries have a key role in helping patients navigate the NHS

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f817 (Published 13 February 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f817
  1. Helen Ward, professor of public health1,
  2. Sophie Day, visiting professor of anthropology1
  1. 1Patient Experience Research Centre, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London W2 1PG, UK
  1. h.ward{at}imperial.ac.uk

We agree that much communication can be done directly by doctors, but Spence underestimates the role that medical secretaries play.1 Consultants’ secretaries are not merely typists and diary managers. They can play a key role in helping patients navigate the complex bureaucracy of the NHS.

Recent interviews that we conducted on patient experience of cancer …

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