There has been a dramatic increase in the numbers of community psychiatic nurses (CPNs) in the last decade; in the period 1980–1985 the number grew from 1667 to 2758, an overall increase of 65%. Traditionally, CPNs were based within psychiatric institutions. However, in the period 1980–1985 there was growth from 8% to 16.2% in the population of CPNs based in health care centres or General Practitioner (GP) surgeries. Some of the functions of CPNs is also changing, developing away from involvement with chronic psychiatric patients towards patients with minor disorders. CPNs have also argued that work in the community and in GP surgeries is synonymous with primary prevention.