Closing the circle: A key collaborative opportunity for general practice and psychiatry

André Tylee*, Alan Cohen, Lydia Thurston

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Two of the authors were general practitioners (GPs) in the 1980s, when there was much interest in consultation, stimulated by the psychoanalyst Michael Balint. Around one in five psychiatrists worked in consultation liaison in general practice at that time, but in the 1990s this was stopped to increase the focus on psychosis. However, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Royal College of General Practitioners have a strong history of collaboration, and many psychiatrists, nurses and GPs trained together in the national Trailblazers programme, focusing on service delivery in all areas of mental health. Recent proposals for mental health community collaborative networks from the NHS provide an opportunity for psychiatrists to work with GPs and a range of other professionals once more, for complex non-psychotic illness that cannot be helped by Improving Access to Psychological Therapies services. The circle is closing for GPs like us, who were working in the 1980s.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBJPsych Bulletin
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • anxiety disorders
  • depressive disorders
  • history of psychiatry
  • multiprofessional training
  • Primary care


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