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Mental health teams should concentrate on psychiatric patients with greatest needs

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 05 October 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:884
  1. Tony Kendrick, Senior lecturer in general practice,
  2. Tom Burns, Professor of community psychiatry
  1. Division of General Practice and Primary Care, St George's Hospital Medical School, London SW17 0RE

    EDITOR,—Valerie Murray and colleagues measured the needs for care of patients with major mental illness who were and were not in contact with their community mental health team.1 They have usefully moved the debate on community care on from simplistic arguments about the adequacy of numbers of psychiatric beds.

    The methods they used to identify patients, however, are likely to have missed a considerable proportion of people with psychotic illnesses, and their sample cannot therefore …

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