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We would like to correct the impression given in your story 'Cut in GP consultations spurs on expert patients programme' (News, February 26) that the universities of Manchester, York and Bristol carried out the data analysis presented of the 963 participants who have attended the EPP pilot phase courses.

This is not part of the external national evaluation being carried out by the National Primary Care Research and Development Centre. The data referred to in your article came from a report of an internal Department of Health audit of EPP conducted by the operational management team.

This report is included as an appendix to the letter about mainstreaming the EPP prepared by Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson. Our own external evaluation consists of three elements:

·a process evaluation of EPP over the first year of operation, including case studies

·a randomised controlled trial to assess clinical and cost-effectiveness (REPORT)

·a qualitative study (embedded within the RCT) to illuminate the processes underlying any changes and patient perspectives.

Results from these studies are expected to be available from the end of 2005.

Professor Anne Rogers

Self-Management Research Programme, National Primary Care Research Centre, Manchester

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