Scheme to support patients with long term conditions will benefit mental health

Scheme to support patients with long term conditions will benefit mental health

Access to NHS services supporting people with mild to moderate anxiety and depression will be made easier thanks to a pilot scheme in Berkshire West

Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Groups and Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust have put funding secured from NHS England into extending the Talking Therapies (IAPT) scheme specifically for patients managing long term conditions.

Talking Therapies provides evidence-based psychological therapies ranging from traditional counselling services and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to the very latest treatments including web-based support and one-to-one sessions. The expansion of the service has been designed to help those managing a long term condition look after their mental health.

“Two thirds of people with a long term physical health condition also have a mental health problem, mostly anxiety and depression. Supporting them to have good mental health and manage their conditions is of vital importance – there is no good health without mental health,” explains Dr Angus Tallini, Berkshire West CCG’s lead on mental health.

“IAPT arms people with practical skills and coping mechanisms to help them manage mild to moderate depression and anxiety, which are understandably a very likely side effect of coping every day with a long term condition.”

Judith Chapman, IAPT Clinical Director from Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are really pleased to be able extend the work we have already begun to now include something specialised for a group who will benefit hugely from support in managing their mental health and physical wellbeing holistically”.

“Stress, anxiety and depression are increasingly prevalent in our modern lifestyle. For those people also dealing with the extra strain of a long-term illness, things can be even more difficult. We want to make a difference by giving people the knowledge and skills to take care of themselves and increase their resilience.”

Anyone with low mood, worrying too much or stress can self refer into Talking Therapies. The team will also now be working closely with some GP surgeries in a phased way to identify and support patients with long term conditions who will benefit from this intervention. To begin with, this will be with patients who have COPD, Type 2 diabetes, Cardiac conditions and are high users of services.

Notes to editors:

The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme began in 2008 and has transformed treatment of adult anxiety disorders and depression in England. More than 900,000 people now access IAPT services each year, and the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health committed to expanding services further, alongside improving quality.
IAPT services provide evidence-based treatments for people with anxiety and depression (implementing NICE guidelines).

IAPT services are characterised by three things:

  1. Evidenced based psychological therapies: with the therapy delivered by fully trained and accredited practitioners, matched to the mental health problem and its intensity and duration designed to optimize outcomes.
  2. Routine outcome monitoring: so that the person having therapy and the clinician offering it have up-to-date information on an individual’s progress. This supports the development of a positive and shared approach to the goals of therapy and as this data is anonymized and published this promotes transparency in service performance encouraging improvement.
  3. Regular and outcomes focused supervision so practitioners are supported to continuously improve and deliver high quality care.


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