To investigate, through a semi-qualitative survey at three geographical sites, health professionals' and service users' opinion about the impact of providing separate consultants for in-patient and community settings. It looked at the perceived affect on various issues such as the course of the illness, service delivery, patients' satisfaction as well as the skills and training of psychiatrists.
Opinion was divided about the level of satisfaction, advantages, consultants' skills and success of this model. The most consistent theme related to the problems with the continuation of care and therapeutic relationship. Most of the respondents were not fully informed about this change. An overwhelming majority believed that in-patient psychiatry is not a separate specialty.
Communication and the sharing of information between the two consultants is the key to success in this model.
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