Mental Health Services

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 5th November 2018.

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Photo of Jeff Smith Jeff Smith Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people accessed eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing therapy on the NHS in each of the last three years.

Photo of Jeff Smith Jeff Smith Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what training his Department provides to NHS doctors on (a) eye movement desensitisation and (b) reprocessing treatment for cases of post traumatic stress disorder.

Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) is a National Health Service programme that offers a range of interventions for treating people with depression or anxiety.

Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing is one of the therapies that can be given to a patient referred to IAPT services.

The following table shows the number of referrals to IAPT services in from 2014-15 to 2016-17, for which at least one appointment included Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing as a treatment.

Number of referrals with one or more appointments where Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing was given as a treatment, England, 2014-15 to 2016-17









Source: NHS Digital


  1. Due to a dataset version change, it has not been possible to identify Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing as a therapy type in appointments prior to 1 July 2014. Therefore 2014-15 is only a partial year of data.
  1. Data are derived from annualised IAPT data. 2016-17 is the latest available data and is available at the following link:

  1. This table presents counts of referrals. A referral is a request for a care service to be provided for a patient. Over time, a patient may have more than one referral to IAPT services and so a count of referrals is not a count of people.

Medical training is the responsibility of the General Medical Council (GMC), which is an independent statutory body. The GMC has the general function of promoting high standards of education and co-ordinating all stages of education to ensure that medical students and newly qualified doctors are equipped with the knowledge, skills and attitudes essential for professional practice.

The training curricula for postgraduate trainee doctors is set by the relevant medical Royal College, and must meet standards set by the GMC. Whilst curricula do not necessarily highlight specific conditions, they instead emphasise the skills and approaches that a doctor must develop and maintain in order to ensure accurate and timely diagnoses and treatment plans for their patients.

The GMC also sets the standards expected at undergraduate level and approves medical school curricula.  In so doing, they set out the knowledge, skills and behaviours that new United Kingdom medical graduates must be able to demonstrate. This is further detailed at the following link:

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