As long-stay patients move into the community, the relationship with the psychiatrist gets diluted. One reason is the logistical problem of visiting widely spaced residences, but another is that patients are primarily under the care of general practitioners (GPs) who provide physical care in the majority of cases. The way in which psychiatric care is delivered is variable (Horder, 1991). For the system to function a modus vivendi has to develop between GPs, psychiatrists and care staff. This study looks at current practice in Gloucester.
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