Improving Access to Psychological Therapies

Since November 2015, we have been trialling a new approach to Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) which aims to ensure patients with mental health problems receive a faster, more in-depth diagnosis to enable them to be treated and recover more quickly.

Whether you’re depressed, stressed, anxious or dealing with any one of a wide range of common psychological and emotional issues, the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service is available to help.

IAPT services offer support that gets the best results and helps you to help yourself, so that you can get back to enjoying life and engaging with work or daily activities. Everyone’s psychological and emotional issues differ and therefore various levels of support are needed.

The new approach, being delivered by Oasis Talk, a Well-being and Therapies service in Bristol and South Gloucestershire, allows people to see a highly experienced member of staff for up to ninety minutes at their first appointment, to allow them to carefully consider what support they need moving forward and then discuss the course of treatment recommended or a specialist service to access.

As well as being referred by their GPs, patients can also self-refer to the service.

The service is being piloted in a group of GP practices including Orchard Medical Centre, the Three Shires Medical Practice, Christchurch Family Medical Centre and the Willow Surgery over the next 12 months.   At the end of the 12 months, we will then consider whether to offer the same enhanced service to patients in other GP practices in South Gloucestershire in the longer term.  The IAPT service currently available in other GP practices in South Gloucestershire will continue and remain unaffected during this pilot.

Your Involvement

We have worked together with the University of Chester to engage people in the design of the pilot from the outset.  Activities which took place have included:

  • A service design workshop led by the University of Chester and the CCG to which we invited patients, public and other stakeholders. The workshop was an opportunity for attendees to tell us what they thought of the current service; how they would like the service to look in future; and to influence the model for the pilot.
  • Attendance at a meeting of the CCG’s Improving the Patient Experience Forum (IPEF), which includes representatives from the voluntary and community sector including Healthwatch, the Care Forum, the Disability Equality Network, the Race Equality Network and the Carers’ Support Centre.
  • Attendance at a meeting of the Patient Participation Group Forum, to which representatives of patients in each GP practice in South Gloucestershire are invited.
  • Attendance at a meeting of the Voluntary and Community Sector Network for Mental Health
  • Meetings with existing providers

This phase of the engagement has now been completed and you can read the 'You Said We Did' report below.

Cover for IAPT Engagement: You Said, We Did Report

IAPT Engagement: You Said, We Did Report

This report is to sets out the key messages we have heard from patients and the public during the early stages of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies project.

Next Steps

An evaluation has been carried out throughout the pilot which includes gathering people’s feedback about their experience of using the new service. This will form a central part of the evaluation.

Once the pilot has been completed, commissioners will consider and decide upon a future model for services across the whole of South Gloucestershire. At this stage there will be further engagement, which will take account of what we have already heard.