I agree with Gus Alexander (19 December, page 23) that capacity and expertise are hot topics in healthcare architecture.
My practice was founded by eight dispossessed souls from NHS in-house department closures in the late 1980s and has been involved with just about every aspect of healthcare.

There are indeed those who reckon they are "experts" after having only done one small job. But be reasonable, this isn't a closed shop. Architects new to healthcare have every right to pitch into the market. There is however the danger of misunderstanding and overconfidence by both parties. It often takes a voice of experience to avoid wasting time and money.

Clients need to appoint architects with skills that match commissions. Some clients are still not sure how to describe the services or type of practice they need and I commend clients to ask an experienced healthcare architect to act as an adviser as early as possible.

The adviser can help devise best practice appointment processes for the design architect and ensure that an adequate brief is prepared.

So Gus, we have an established body of knowledge in the well-established healthcare practices and we agree that we need to encourage others into this market. The challenge is with clients – to access and use the expertise appropriately and to ask the right questions when they appoint.