Improving Access to Psychological Therapies - Public Accounts Committee inquiry

The BPC has submitted evidence with the UK Council for Psychotherapy to an inquiry by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee on Improving Access to Mental Health Services.

Our paper focuses on access to psychological therapies on the NHS for adults.

It raises the following recommendations:

  • The Government and NHS England should provide a wider range of evidence-based therapies so that patients can access a therapy which matches their needs.  This would make it easier to meet the Government's target for recovery rates.
  • The Government urgently needs to investigate what happens to the 85.1% of patients referred to the IAPT programme who do not recover.
  • The Government should introduce a new waiting time target of 28 days (4 weeks) from referral request to first appointment, for everyone who has a clinical need for psychological therapy.
  • Any appropriate psychological therapy service on the NHS should be able to meet our waiting time target.
  • In order to know whether overall levels of access to psychological therapies are increasing or declining, we suggest the Government regularly collates and publishes comprehensive financial, staffing, access and outcomes data on all NHS psychjological therapy services, including non-IAPT services.
  • In order to meet patient need, we suggest firstly that the Government mandates Health Education England (HEE) to train adequate numbers of therapists in each of the modalities of therapy currently under-represented on the IAPT programme; and secondly, that NHS England utlisies the capacity of the non-IAPT workforce.
  • Urgent action needs to be taken to address the psychological pressures that IAPT practitioners are under.

The full paper may be found here:



Wednesday, 15 June, 2016 - 15:10