IMPROVING ACCESS TO PSYCHOLOGICAL THERAPIES (IAPT) PROGRAMME

The government is investing £400m between April 2011 and 2015 to make sure that people with depression and anxiety across England have access to a choice of psychological therapies. This includes an expansion of psychological therapies for children and young peoples’ services.
The Department of Health is initiating a stand-alone programme to extend psychological therapies to children and young people, building on learning from the largely adult-focused Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme.

The IAPT programme was created to offer patients with depression and anxiety disorders access to treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapy, where medication had traditionally been the only option available.

The programme was first targeted at people of working age. Evidence shows that by September 2010 the programme had helped more than 72,000 people to recover from depression and anxiety disorders in the previous two years and almost 14,000 people moved off sick pay and benefits and started or returned to work following treatment. The scope of the children and young peoples’ IAPT programme is yet to be fully determined but it will focus on changing practice within existing services.

Clinical leaders, including GPs and children’s mental health charities such as YoungMinds will develop an education and training programme to build the capacity of the child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) workforce. CAMHS staff will be trained between now and 2015. A limited number of staff will also be recruited annually for the next four years.
One key change in treatment will be the introduction of routine outcome monitoring for all therapy sessions with children and young people. Children, young people and their families will be involved in developing child-centred and patient-reported outcome measures.

This is intended to help determine the level of need for talking therapies among children and young people. It will also provide confirmation of the extent to which talking therapies aid recovery for children and young people with mental health problems. Evidence shows that IAPT can save the NHS up to £272m and the wider public sector will benefit by more than £700m.

Source: Department of Health

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