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Br J Gen Pract. 2009 November 1; 59(568): 870.
PMCID: PMC2765841

Child and adolescent psychiatry liaison in Ireland

I am writing from Ireland and have been a GP for the past 12 years; practising for 9 years in Ireland. I did my general practice training in the UK and so have worked in a multidisciplinary setting. However, this is a new phenomenon in Ireland and those that have trained in Ireland find this a difficult concept to grasp.

There is a real fear that their input into patient care will become diluted and undermined. Having trained in the UK, I find it bemusing that this concept is difficult to comprehend. However, it is a positive move as the needs of the patients are becoming complex and well dealt with in a multidisciplinary way.

My letter was inspired after reading the paper on ‘GPs' role in the detection of psychological problems of young people.’1 Unfortunately, GPs are finding it difficult to deal with these problems as most of the older teenagers come from unstable family environments and have been in care. The liaison between GPs and the child and adolescent psychiatry team is also not good and each side is suspicious of the other.

I do believe that those of us that have trained in the UK system can contribute positively to overcome these ‘suspicions’, as working together will keep these patients engaged with health professionals. This will provide a better environment for our young people when they need access to health professionals.

I have to thank the authors for an excellent article and would like to say that they contribute greatly to GPs here in Ireland that want to encourage a multidisciplinary ethos into general practice.


1. Mauerhofer A, Berchtold A, Michaud PA, Suris JC. GPs' role in the detection of psychological problems of young people: a population-based study. Br J Gen Pract. 2009;59(566):e308–314. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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