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Psychiatrist services are currently in a state of flux because of a change in philosophy towards care in the community. There is much disquiet among psychiatrists about the lack of resources needed to effect this change. However, the most appropriate focus of community care already exists in the form of the general practitioner's surgery, but at present it is rarely used to its full potential because liaison between general practitioners and psychiatrists is poor. Ways of improving the liaison between psychiatric and primary care teams are outlined that if implemented would enable community psychiatry to flourish.