Research into the needs of disabled people in Central Birmingham and their use of community health and social services has shown that Asian people are 'underusers' of these services, particularly district nursing. We have found that in this district, general practitioners (GPs) refer the majority of district nurses' disabled patients, but they are not referring Asians. Possible explanations--that elderly Asians have low contact rates with GPs, lack knowledge about the district nursing services, or refuse to use the service--are not supported by the research data. More likely explanations are offered--that GPs hold stereotyped views about Asians and their needs, have a misunderstanding of the role and function of the district nurse and inflexible assumptions about the 'typical' patient seen by the district nurse. Attention is drawn to the urgent need for GPs to address these issues and for further research as the numbers of older Asians are set to rise sharply.