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Keywords:

  • community psychiatric nurses;
  • distribution;
  • need;
  • England

Given the substantial increase in the numbers of community psychiatric nurses (CPNs) in England in the last 15 years this paper asks the question: is CPN activity where it should be? In other words is activity distributed around the country according to need? Various indicators of need are suggested including population age structure, deprivation indices and suicide rates. We find no evidence — based on information from scatterplots, Spearman correlations and more innovative measures of inequality — that CPNs are distributed according to need. If this is confirmed by further research it is cause for alarm — CPNs should be where they are most needed.