Friday, 11 March 2011

Preventing access to psychological therapy?

Interesting article in the BMJ on the Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) initiative started under Labour and continuing under the Tories. It remains unpopular with GPs while being heralded as an outstanding success by central government:
"The impact assessment on the expansion of the programme, signed off by Mr Burstow, estimates that the cost of providing a course of treatment is £136 for mild mental health problems and £754 for moderate or severe cases. This, the assessment says, is substantially lower than the estimated costs for talking therapies before IAPT, which are quoted as £255 and £1298.

"Quite where these figures come from is a bit of a mystery because they conflict with those collected by a team led by Professor Glenys Parry of the University of Sheffield, which evaluated the first two pilot sites for the programme, in Doncaster and Newham, comparing them with neighbouring services (Wakefield and Barnsley and City and Hackney). They found that IAPT treatments cost more, not less, than those provided in the neighbouring boroughs, and that it was not possible to say whether the extra costs were justified by better outcomes."
This accords with the experience of many GPs, mental health professionals, and patients (e.g. see the Shrink here).

1 comment:

The Shrink said...

Woe, woe and thrice woe.