Improving Access to Psychological Therapies



The purpose of the IAPT national programme is to increase access to a range of evidence based interventions and informed treatment options for people with depression and anxiety disorders (NHS Mandate, 2012).

The aim is to  provide and promote,

  • directly accessible primary care driven services
  • early access
  • high quality and flexible support
  • recovery, minimising disabling effects
  • choice for people using services
  • pre- and post-treatment outcome data.

Central to the ‘No heath without mental health’ national strategy is the Government’s commitment that the NHS will complete the nationwide roll out of IAPT services between 2012-2015.

Commissioning task

Clinical Commissioning Groups are focusing on,

  • implementation of the nationwide roll out of Talking Therapies: a four year plan of action (Department of Health, 2011);
  • how investment can continue to provide a year on year increased capacity.
  • how training needs can be met in the most cost efficient way possible.
  • how to ensure integration, and consideration of the interdependencies with other mental
  • health and social care services.
  • the wider market for delivering IAPT services, and market development.


Talking therapies: a four year plan of action (Department of Health, 2011) outlines how the roll-out of IAPT services for adults will be completed in the four years until April 2015 to include:

  • people with long-term conditions
  • medically unexplained symptoms
  • people with severe mental illness.


CCGs are focusing resources and workforce requirements to ensure the delivery of  IAPT Outcome Indicators:

  • 10% of prevalence receiving timely access to services in the locality, rising to 15% in 2014/15;
  • 50% of those treated will move to recovery.

IAPT key performance indicators and latest reports can be viewed via the Health and Social Care Information Centre.