Lesson 16 of 16
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How to write the Opening Paragraph in OET writing letter?

4. Opening Paragraph

Where to Begin?

The opening paragraph usually takes 2 sentences but rarely there can be 3 sentences.

Read This Sample

I am writing to update the current health status of Mr Gerald Baker who has been under our care for total left hip replacement surgery and high blood pressure. He requires ongoing care and further support following his discharge today.

What to Include?

  1. Patient’s name: “…Mr Joe Morgan, along with wife…”
  2. Patient’s present condition for which care is requested: “…who has symptoms suggestive of myocardial infarction…”
  3. Patient’s treatment level: “…who is recovering after partial hip replacement…”
  4. Patient’s discharge status: He has been discharged / He is being discharged
  5. Existing relationship between the patient and writer: “Ms Tara has been under my care for the last three months…”

Sentence 1

  • Thank you for seeing Ms Lee who needs urgent assessment and treatment.
  • This is to update the recent developments of Mr Parker’s condition.
  • Mr Parker, my patient, is being discharged and sent home for homecare. (Avoid the use of “patient” in most cases)

Sentence 2

  • He is recuperating after lung resection.
  • He is recovering from multiple disease condition.

Sentence 3

  • Mr Joe Morgan, having been reviewed by his GP, is getting ready for discharge.
  • …and her discharge will be initiated depending on the availability of oxygen at her home.

How to decide?

  • The Writing task or the final section of case notes will contain indicators to the kind of language you need to use in your introduction.
  • These two sections provide a summary of the situation and the action points for the reader. Both also explain any existing relationship between the reader and the patient, which can impact how you should start the letter.

Let’s take this simple quiz


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