Campaign launched to improve access to NICE-approved talking therapies
The mental health charity Mind has teamed up with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and the Royal College of Psychiatrists to launch a new campaign calling for better access to psychological therapies.
The campaign, launched last week at an event in Westminster, challenges all of the political parties to support the roll-out of talking therapies, and other evidence-based psychological therapies.
The campaign emphasises the patient's right to nationally-approved treatments, drugs and programmes, recommended by NICE for use in the NHS, as enshrined in the NHS Constitution.
NICE guidelines, such as those for depression, recommend several psychological therapies for people who have mental health problems.
However, many GPs have reported that they are unable to refer patients for psychological therapies because of a lack of availability or are able to refer patients but only with very long waiting times.
While a recent survey by the Mental Health Foundation found that 75% of GPs have prescribed medication to people with depression even though they felt another treatment, such as psychological therapy, would have been preferable.
Professor Steve Field, chairman of the RCGP, said: “We believe that there needs to be better access to psychological therapies in line with NICE guidelines. Indeed there is a right under the NHS constitution.
“We welcome the substantial investment that has been made over the last few years, and we support fully the campaign to ensure that adequate funding continues to go into training therapists, rolling out talking therapies across England and making provision for children.
“Even if there is a financial squeeze, the evidence is there that the country will save money in the short and long term.”
9 March 2010
This page was last updated: 13 April 2010