Business can make the case to the Conservative Government, that IAPT’s monopoly of the organisation of primary care mental health services (Talking Therapies) is not in the public interest. Adding that independent assessment of performance is crucial to the delivery of any service, but IAPT has operated for a decade without such accountability – at a cost of £4billion to the taxpayer.
A businesses could:
A. Ensure that Talking Therapies make a real world difference to clients lives, one that they could recognise. By insisting on i) the independent monitoring of services, on a sampling basis, that assesses client satisfaction and ii) the assessment of the proportion of clients who are returned to their old selves post treatment i.e how many loose their diagnostic status.
B. Inform Government ministers that it could make an administrative cost saving by removing the need for therapists to spend time administering psychometric tests at each appointment.
C. Simplify training needs by abolishing the distinction between low and high intensity therapists.
The Businesses could also make the point to Government that their mental health advisers in Public Health England are essentially paid civil servants, who can only speak out with the permission of Government and whose dealings with IAPT are not open to public scrutiny. There is a pressing need for a wholly independent transparent body charged with assessing the added value of all organisations that deliver Talking Therapies with Government funds. Such a body must go beyond operational matters of numbers and waiting lists and assess the clinical impact of services in a way that is scientifically credible.
With regards to assessing satisfaction, the Business could claim that they intend to ask an independent body to monitor satisfaction with their service by asking:
- Overall, How Satisfied Were You With Your Talking Therapy? on a scale 0-10, were a score of 0 is ‘not at all satisfied’ and 10 ‘very satisfied’
My nephew Greg, a Businessman, suggested two very useful supplementary prompts:
2. Please explain your score
3. What would need to have been done for you to have given a higher score?
Businesses could make a real world difference to mental health provision
and the lives of clients. They are well equipped for negotiation at the
highest level and many have pockets, deep enough to surmount any
teething problems. Businesses could also greatly reduce the high stress
levels that are endemic in IAPT’s modus operandi.
Dr Mike Scott