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This paper describes a research study designed to evaluate a community health service development in one health authority in rural England. The study compared two types of primary care teams working towards the same objectives. Surveys of patients and staff in the health authority were conducted about a range of issues, defined by the original aims of the scheme. Measures were made of care received by people over 75 years of age, consumer satisfaction, staff experiences of the multi-disciplinary team, job satisfaction and liaison with social services personnel. Few differences existed between the two forms of care on all of these measures. This paper contains a discussion of the findings alongside an examination of the implications for future health service developments, particularly flagship enterprises such as nursing development units. The importance of well established baseline measurements is emphasized by both the research findings and the discussion.