Mental Health Services: Older People

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 30th April 2019.

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Photo of Paul Farrelly Paul Farrelly Labour, Newcastle-under-Lyme

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 15 April 2019 to Question 242728, whether he plans to increase the number of older people accessing psychological therapies.

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

The Department, through NHS England, remains committed to increasing older people’s access to psychological therapies via the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme.

Referrals into IAPT services for people aged 65 and over show a consistent rise over the last five years, from 5.5% of referrals in 2012/13 to 6.8% in 2017/18. This equates to approximately 2,000 extra referrals of people aged 65 and over each year.

Since April 2018 all clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have been expected to expand IAPT by commissioning services that are integrated into physical healthcare pathways. These services are designed to support people with combined physical health long-term conditions (LTCs) and mental health problems. It is expected that this expansion will further increase access for older people, who are more likely than working age people to live with one or more LTCs.

We have introduced financial incentives through the Mental Health Quality Premium in 2017/18 and 2018/19 to reward CCGs for improvements in access to, and outcomes from, IAPT services for under-represented groups, in particular older people.

The NHS Long Term Plan, published on 7 January 2019, commits the National Health Service to improving the provision of mental health support for older people with a range of needs and diagnoses, including common mental health problems and severe mental illnesses.

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