Survey supports need for faster access to talking therapies

Survey supports need for faster access to talking therapies

It is thought that patients waiting for access to counselling and other forms of talking therapies are being made to wait too long to access treatment.


The charity Mind carried out a survey on behalf of the We Need to Talk, a coalition of mental health groups in England. 1,600 patients who had tried such therapies were polled, and it was found that 12% waited over a year for treatment, whilst 54% had waited more than three months.


The majority of those polled stated that they were not offered a choice of therapies. 10% also said they had paid for private treatment because they were unable to get the therapy they needed via the NHS.


We Need to Talk state that people should start to receive talking therapies, such as counselling and cognitive behavioural therapies (CBT), within 28 days of being referred.


Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb said £450m had been invested in the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme, and that future plans were to promote them more.


As the IAPT is now under the control of NHS England, campaigners say it has reduced capacity and budget and they fear patients' experiences will only get worse.


"Due to its initial success, demand has increased and this has led to increased waiting times in some parts of the country. We want people to get access to treatment quickly. We have asked NHS England - the body which oversees the NHS - to introduce for the first time new waiting time and access standards for mental health services from 2015” Lamb said.

Original Source BBC News

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