Test Those With Symptoms – A Message From The Pandemic To IAPT

Without such testing for NHS staff we would be on the road to chaos. But the Government’s Improving Access to Psychological Treatment (IAPT) service  makes no diagnosis of clients,  directing them to whatever service the therapist deems fit. There is likely to be a myriad different IAPT responses to client’s presenting variously, anxious about developing the Corona virus, saddened that they could not properly say goodbye to a loved one who died of the virus (?PTSD) or distressed that they cannot visit a loved one. In jettisoning diagnosis IAPT has ceased to operate within the bounds of evidence based treatment (EBT). EBT is based on the belief that it is known  that certain treatments work for certain conditions under certain circumstances. This applies certainly to the common mental disorders and is reflected in the NICE Guidelines.

NHS England have failed to meaningfully document the personal consequences of IAPT’s ministrations. IAPT have engaged in a high risk operation of providing therapy on the cheap using largely low intensity interventions. This has understandably attracted a great deal of funds – it’s the answer to a power holders prayer. But there is no accountability if things go wrong, as they have. It’s like a repeat of the banking crisis, morally reprehensible. Unfortunately and understandably the NHS is pre-occupied with COVID-19 and I don’t see them addressing the issue in the forseeable future.

Dr Mike Scott