Published: 05/02/2004, Volume II4, No. 5891 Page 8

The Royal College of Psychiatrists research unit and Brunel University have launched a research project to study the doctor-patient relationship for users of mental health services.More than half of all mental health service users abandon their medication at some stage in their treatment and the three-year project will provide recommendations on how psychiatrists can encourage patients to follow the medication they prescribe, while helping the patients themselves communicate their own needs and concerns about their treatment.Royal College of Psychiatrists research unit research fellow Alan Quirk, who is leading the study, said: 'The simple fact is that the NHS is spending vast sums on drugs which psychiatric patients are not taking.'