We describe the introduction of a Community Link Team (CLT) to facilitate early discharge of patients from an acute psychiatric ward, by provision of a team-based service offering intensive support during the day. This is a novel approach, and is distinguished from alternative interventions such as assertive community treatment and case management. We describe the team's first year, comparing demographic features and diagnoses with patients admitted from the same catchment area in the Nottingham Acute Bed Use Study. The patient characteristics were very similar. The only predictor of CLT involvement was employment, with 78% of the employed receiving the intervention but only 47% of the unemployed. The median length of stay during the CLT project was 19 days, a highly significant reduction from the 36 days in the NABUS study. This cannot be attributed to the team but justifies a randomised controlled trial to test this hypothesis, which has been initiated.