Rapid responses are electronic letters to the editor. They enable our users to debate issues raised in articles published on thebmj.com. Although a selection of rapid responses will be included online and in print as readers' letters, their first appearance online means that they are published articles. If you need the url (web address) of an individual response, perhaps for citation purposes, simply click on the response headline and copy the url from the browser window. Letters are indexed in PubMed.
The role of doctors in managing demand is an important question, and the conversation inevitably moved onto prevention and public health. It is odd then that there were no public health doctors around the table.
Public health specialists have a core skill set which has great value in addressing such issues, and in delivering public sector reform more generally (1). Directors of Public Health throughout the UK are demonstrating this in practice.