The aims of this study were to identify and trace all schizophrenic patients discharged from in-patient and day-patient psychiatric services in Harrow between 1 January 1975 and 1 January 1985, to examine the patients in terms of their mental state, cognitive functioning, extrapyramidal function and social disability, and to relate their current status in those terms to demographic, historical and treatment variables. The data collection was conducted between 1 February 1987 and 1 January 1990. The project was devised against the background of developing community care policies for psychiatric patients. In the UK, policies of closure of the mental hospitals have been advocated for a considerable time (Tooth & Brooke, 1961). In the US the plan of closing the mental hospitals and replacing in-patient care with care in the community was partially adopted (Scharfstein, 1978; Fink & Weinstein, 1979; Winslow, 1979). In Italy it was carried out in a much more complete way, at least in some areas (Jones & Poletti, 1985, 1986), but problems appear to have arisen in both of these countries (Donovan, 1982; Papeschi, 1985).