Mind responds to latest talking therapy figures
Posted Wednesday 21 December 2011
Mind today responded to the latest performance figures from the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) scheme, which aims to enable more people who are experiencing mental distress to access talking treatments like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said:
Whilst the IAPT scheme has had some success in allowing many more people with mental health problems to access talking therapies, some of these latest figures are still a cause for concern. Six local Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) are still not offering IAPT service, leaving thousands of people experiencing mental distress across Central Lancashire, Herefordshire, Hillingdon, Luton, Wakefield and Waltham Forest without the support they need.
The figures also show a worrying degree of regional variation in IAPT service provision, with over 80,000 people still having to wait over 28 days to access therapy. The North West, South West and London have particularly high numbers of people waiting over 28 days between referral and treatment. If one PCT is offering counselling immediately, and another has a backlog where people are waiting three months untreated, this is bound to have an impact on how effective counselling or CBT is.
These figures chime with Mind's research, which found that 1 in 5 people are waiting over a year between asking for help and receiving treatment, but those that got help quickly were more likely to be happy with their treatment and able to return to work quicker.
We urge the Government to continue to work with local health services to explore why some PCTs are still failing to provide IAPT services at all, and ensure that the NHS provides a full range of evidence-based psychological therapies to all who need them, within 28 days of requesting referral.