Wayne Katon

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 05 June 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h3117
  1. Michael Sharpe, Oxford
  1. Michael.Sharpe{at}

Leading academic consultation-liaison psychiatrist and research pioneer, whose work changed clinical practice

Wayne Katon was one of the most influential consultation-liaison psychiatrists of his generation. He was the pioneer of a new way of supporting primary care to better manage psychiatric illness, called collaborative care.1

Collaborative care is a highly organised form of shared care between psychiatrist and primary care doctor. It is efficient because it includes a care manager who provides most of the patient contact and effective because it delivers expert supervised, evidence based treatments, adjusted in response to the patients’ progress. The first trial to find it effective was reported as the inauspiciously named “collaborative management to achieve treatment guidelines: impact on depression in primary care.”2 Although published 20 years ago, this paper is still well worth reading, not only for its findings, but for its clinical insights.

Based on practical clinical experience and common sense, collaborative care is a notable early example of team delivered system of care, an approach to medicine that was recently and persuasively advocated by, surgeon and author …

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