During my training I have had the relatively unusual experience of two placements in community psychiatry—one at registrar, the other at senior registrar level. These placements were in many respects quite different. One was in an Emergency Psychiatric Service based in a London teaching hospital and the other was in a domiciliary-based Crisis Intervention Service in a district general hospital. A feature shared by both services was a multi-disciplinary team. The move towards community psychiatry is going hand in hand with the multi-disciplinary approach, and this leads inevitably to some re-evaluation of the role of the psychiatrist as other disciplines contribute more to clinical assessment and management. From my own experience as a member of these teams I have noted the relevance of two overlapping issues; these concern attitudes to the practice of psychiatry and the distribution of responsibility within the team.
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