Link workers between the two services

A problem with having psychiatrists provide the relationship with primary care is that they cannot be generalized to the whole set of GPs looking after the psychiatrist's patients, as there are simply too many GPs to provide a service to all of them. An alternative relationship between the two services is for key workers in the community mental health teams to arrange their case loads so that they are looking after patients cared for by only two GPs. The link worker acts as a 'culture carrier' between the two services, and makes sure that patients needing services from other members of the community mental health team obtain them. The relationship with the GPs is much closer than that obtained with the more usual arrangements. ^ It is possible for these workers, who are usually nurses, either to see patients in their homes or to have their own clinics in primary care.

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