- People with long-term mental health problems suffer considerable disability and are at risk of relapse or deterioration. Primary and secondary care have traditionally been separated, leading to poor communication and lack of role definition. Furthermore, there has been no national programme aiming to improve service delivery for this group of patients. In recent times, mental health has been an issue of increasing national importance, and there is recognition that care for those with long-term mental illness can be improved further. The establishment of primary care groups and partnership boards provides a structure with the potential to influence care at a general practice and primary-secondary interface level. This book provides a framework for the decision making that is necessary to plan comprehensive care tailored to the needs of local patients, practices and community teams. It is designed for use by individual practices or groups of practices with similar views on mental health care, in recognition of the diversity within primary care. It explicitly aims to provide guidance for practices to set up the information systems necessary for improving quality of service and providing practice care. The book has been developed from research conducted with primary health care teams and community mental health teams in south-east London, from analysis of national research and recommendations and in consultation with other researchers in the field.