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Br J Gen Pract. Sep 1992; 42(362): 358–361.
PMCID: PMC1372111

A survey of links between mental health professionals and general practice in six district health authorities.


The aim of this study was to obtain an estimate of the extent to which collaborative schemes exist between general practice and mental health professionals and to assess the influence of practice size and district on these schemes. A questionnaire asking about such links was sent to each general practice in six randomly selected health districts in England. The response rate was 75%. Half of the 261 responding practices had a link with a community psychiatric nurse, 21% with a social worker, 17% with a counsellor, 15% with a clinical psychologist and 16% with a psychiatrist. Practices with more general practitioners were significantly more likely to have a link with a counsellor, after allowing for marked differences between the sizes of practices in the different districts. There was a tendency for some practices to have many links, while others had few. This poses questions about the efficiency and equity of collaborative schemes in primary care. Further research is required to investigate the quality of these links and the extent to which they serve the interests of the patient.

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Selected References

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