The split responsibility for in-patient and out-patient care is one of the most serious problems facing mental healthcare in Europe. It is a major obstacle in the continuity of care, particularly with severely mentally ill patients.
I have been involved in mental health services research for 30 years. During that time, I have observed increasing efforts to overcome this split responsibility. There are several ongoing evaluations of ‘integrated care’ all over Europe, which have been developed to overcome this divide. Britain has always set a good example in integrated care and it would be a great pity if the NHS were to abandon this well-accredited approach.