Mental Health Services

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 31st October 2018.

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Photo of Lisa Cameron Lisa Cameron Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Mental Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the full range of NICE recommended psychological therapies are available to people who are unable to access Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programmes due to the nature of their mental illness.

Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme offers a range of National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommended therapies in England for common mental health conditions including depression and anxiety.

For people with a severe mental illness, such as psychosis, bipolar disorder and personality disorder, NHS England has committed to increasing access to psychological therapies, as recommended by the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health.

The 2016 access standard for early intervention state that at least 50% of people experiencing their first episode of psychosis should start a package of care recommended by NICE within two weeks of referral rising to 60% by 2020/21. The waiting time element of this standard was met in August 2018 with 74.4% of people starting treatment within two weeks.

Additionally, NHS England is developing a new framework for adult non-specialist community mental health services, due to be published in 2019, which will set out updated recommendations on the importance of psychological therapies as a treatment intervention in community mental health services.

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