The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme supports the frontline NHS in implementing National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines for people suffering from depression and anxiety disorders.
It was created to offer patients a realistic and routine first-line treatment, combined where appropriate with medication which traditionally had been the only treatment available. The programme was first targeted at people of working age but in 2010 was opened to adults of all ages.
From 2011, the programme's focus has broadened, following publication of Talking Therapies: a four-year plan of action, one of a suite of documents supporting No health without mental health, the cross-Government mental health strategy for people of all ages.
In the four years to April 2015:
- the nationwide roll-out of psychological therapy services for adults will be completed,
- a stand-alone programme for children and young people will be initiated, and
- models of care for people with long-term physical conditions, medically unexplained symptoms and severe mental illness will be developed.
Evidence shows this approach can save the NHS up to £272million and the wider public sector will benefit by more than £700 million.
By 31 March 2011:
- 142 of the 151 Primary Care Trusts in England had a service from this programme in at least part of their area and just over 50 per cent of the adult population had access,
- 3,660 new cognitive behavioural therapy workers had been trained, and
- over 600,000 people started treatment, over 350,000 completed it, over 120,000 moved to recovery and over 23,000 came off sick pay or benefits (between October 2008 and 31 March 2011).
The programme began in 2006 with Demonstration sites in Doncaster and Newham focusing on improving access to psychological therapies services for adults of working age. In 2007, 11 IAPT Pathfinders began to explore the specific benefits of services to vulnerable groups. The original Implementation Plan of 2008 and related documents can be view on the Department of Health website. Two important published 'stock takes' on progress were Realising the Benefits (2010), and `IAPT: 3 Year report; the First Million Patients` (2012).
This website is a learning and support tool for services created through the programme and includes a directory of local IAPT NHS Services offering psychological therapies for conditions including depression and anxiety
If you have any feedback please contact us.