General Practice

Are community mental health teams providing an equitable service? Comparison of source of referrals with inpatient care

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.313.7055.476 (Published 24 August 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:476
  1. Richard Laugharne, clinical training fellowa,
  2. Simon Fleminger, senior lecturera
  1. a Joint Academic Department of Psychological Medicine, St Bartholomew's and the London Medical College, London E1 2AD
  • Accepted 11 April 1996

Some researchers have suggested that community mental health teams may have policies that result in those most in need not receiving priority for services and may thus not provide an equitable service.1 2 Referral practices of general practitioners have been suggested as a source of inequity.3 4 We investigated the factors affecting which patients are referred to a community mental health team by comparing the demographic characteristics of people referred to one community team with those of patients being admitted to hospital and also with the general population.

Method

and results

The community mental health team serves a multiethnic population of 52 059 (of whom 32 783 are aged 15-64) in a deprived inner city area. It …

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