Room For Improvement Says Audit Into NHS Mental Health Servicesby Dr Emma Gray - 4th July, 2012
A recent report into the psychological care received by patients with anxiety and depression within the NHS revealed substantial room for improvement.
The National Audit of Psychological Therapies, commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership and carried out by the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Centre for Quality Improvement, collected data from over 350 services and over 10,000 people in therapy for conditions anxiety and depression. The audit measured a range of standards including patient satisfaction, effectiveness of therapy, waiting times and the number of treatment sessions offered.
As many as one in seven patients were found to wait more than 3 months for their first appointment and patient feedback suggested that these long waiting times impacted negatively on their mental health indicating how important it is to receive treatment as soon as possible. In addition 41% of patients did not receive the recommended minimum number of sessions and as a result were unable to recover or make a reliable improvement. Increasingly people are turning to private counselling services to receive the counselling they need.