Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Writing outpatient letters to patients

Outpatient letters to patients: many doctors and patients are non-native speakers

BMJ 2020; 368 doi: (Published 17 March 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m956
  1. Stephen J Nickless, retired general practitioner
  1. London NW6 7HG, UK
  1. stephen.nickless31{at}

I agree that clinicians should write directly to patients and “copy in” other professionals involved in their care.1 This will be challenging for UK trained, native speakers of advanced English, and even more challenging for our many NHS colleagues who trained elsewhere and have English as a second language. Moreover, many of these letters will be …

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