The needs of people with mental health problems transcend agency boundaries. Service-planning, however, has often been carried out within the confines of individual agencies. Although inter-agency collaboration has been an integral part of official policy since 1974 (DHSS, 1974), joint planning has often been limited to the allocation of centrally-earmarked joint finance (DHSS, 1976). In the ten years following the introduction of joint planning, few authorities prepared, let alone attempted to implement, any broader joint strategies.
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