Since the 1950s the number of beds for inpatient psychiatric treatment in Britain has fallen by over 100 000, and many people with long-term mental illness now rely on community-based rather than hospital facilities. General practitioners have a key role to play in their care. This article discusses the organisation of care for adults with chronic psychotic disorders. We consider how primary care, community mental health teams and hospital psychiatric services need to work together to ensure reliable and effective care.
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