To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action she has taken in response to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommendations that psychological treatment should be offered prior to drug treatment for patients suffering from psychological conditions; and if she will make a statement.
Local health communities are expected to review their existing practice in the treatment and management of various mental health problems against the guidelines published by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. The reviews should consider the resources required to implement any recommendations relating to the use of psychological interventions and the timeline over which full implementation is envisaged. As announced in the recent White Paper, 'Our health, our care, our say: a new direction for community services', the Government are committed to expand access to psychological therapies. To this end, two demonstration sites are being established for people of working age with mild to moderate mental health problems with the aim of helping them to remain in or return to work. The sites will also aim to establish an evidence base for the effectiveness of such therapies and to support the extension to non-working age people and those with moderate to severe mental illness.