Two people talking. Their hands are focus point.

We are calling for:

  • A thorough independent review and audit of the NHS Talking Therapies
  • A diversity of talking therapies, including relational therapies, to be made available
  • A genuine response to community need
  • Improvement in staff pay and conditions


NHS Talking Therapies Petition

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One Size Does Not Fit All; Independent Review for NHS Talking Therapies Needed Now

We’re calling on Maria Caulfield Minister of State for Mental Health to urgently and independently review the provision of Community Mental Health Care via NHS Talking Therapies (NHS TT – formerly known as Improving Access to Psychological Therapies, or IAPT).

We believe that while more and more people are suffering from common mental health distress, the availability and accessibility of therapeutic help via the NHS Talking Therapies has become severely limited, indeed a denial of care. NHS TT claim to provide a successful adult mental health service but this is based on their own statistical data which is presented in a misleading way. Neither IAPT nor NHS TT has been subjected to independent audit. An independent review  is now crucial to enable a change towards the provision of a service which can genuinely and flexibly respond to the psychological and emotional needs of our communities and support staff in their pay and conditions.

What is wrong with NHS Talking Therapies?

  • Restricted choice of therapy options, frequently limited to CBT, web based self- help therapy or non-relational therapies using scripts
  • An exceptionally high drop-out rate; only one third of people finish treatment
  • Misleading use of data to claim a 50% recovery rate
  • Misleading use of data to claim 90% of people referred are seen within 6 weeks
  • Very low follow up rate so no evidence of therapeutic benefit over time
  • Many therapists are working for low pay, long hours, in gig-economy contracts. Stress and burn out are very common due to pressure to produce ‘results’
  • Thousands of trained psychotherapists and counsellors are available but not employed in NHS Talking Therapies
  • A highly medical and individualised model, with little recognition of the social causes of mental health distress
  • Not cost effective, private companies providing ‘care’ for profit
  • More a denial of care than care responding to people’s needs
  • Fails to address inequality in mental health care
  • Little hope of providing ‘integrated care in local communities for people suffering severe and common mental health difficulties ‘ as promised in the NHS’s Community Mental Health Framework for Adults and Older Adults (2019-21)
  • An ideological project adapted to utilitarian and managerial values


NHS For People Not Profit


Protect our NHS

Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility
Campaigning for universal Access to Counselling and psychoTherapy (uACT) the Person Centered Association The Person Centred Association
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Psychotherapy and Counselling Union (PCU)