Department of Health written question – answered on 11th June 2015.

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Photo of Louise Haigh Louise Haigh Labour, Sheffield, Heeley

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the availability of talking therapies in (a) Sheffield and (b) England.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt The Minister of State, Department of Health

The national roll out of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme began in 2008 with the aim of helping adults with common mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression, to recover.

Over the spending review period 2010-2015 the IAPT programme received over £460 million of Government investment. The programme is supported by an outcomes based dataset, the IAPT dataset, which collects information and measures outcomes from IAPT services. The Health and Social Care Information Centre have a requirement to maintain the IAPT dataset.

The table below shows the number of referrals and waiting times to the Sheffield service compared to the same nationally:

The number of referrals entering treatment1 in the year, with mean and median waiting times (days), for IAPT services in Quarter 3, 2014-15 (October 1 to December 31).

Organisation name

Referrals2 entering treatment

Mean3 waiting time to first treatment appointment (days)

Median3 waiting time to first treatment appointment (days)





NHS Sheffield CCG




Source: IAPT Dataset


  1. In order to enter treatment a referral must have a first treatment appointment (an appointment with a treatment appointment type recorded) in the period.
  2. This is not distinct people, as a person can have more than one referral.
  3. Means and medians have been rounded to the nearest whole number.
  4. Data shown for England and NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group.

The National Health Service mandate for 2015/16 and “Achieving Better Access to Mental Health Services by 2020” include the commitment to introduce the first tailored access and waiting times for mental health in 2015/16.

This was accompanied by a £120 million investment – an investment of £40 million new money in 2014/15 to lay the groundwork for introducing the standards, and £80 million in 2015/16 that will be realised out of existing NHS England budgets.

One of the three access and waits standards is that 75% of people referred to the IAPT programme will be treated within six weeks of referral, and 95% will be treated within 18 weeks of referral.

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