NHS Talking Therapies Both Judge and Jury On Recovery

Would you invest in a company simply on the basis of its proclaimed profits? But that is exactly what successive governments have done every year, for the past fifteen years. At a cost of £752 million in the year 2021 for adult Mental Health Services, £922 million on child and adolescent mental health (excluding funding for eating disorders £73 million). Making a grand total of £1.75 billion [Figures from the National Audit Office (NAO ) Report of February 2023] for 2021-2022. The NAO  re-iterates, uncritically, IAPT’s claim of a 50% recovery rate for the Adult mental health service, neglecting to say that there has been no independent verification of this. Further there is not even a claim to the effectiveness of Child and Adolescent Mental Health services!

The NAO  is unphazed by the haemorrhaging of clients from the NHS Talking therapies for Adults. It notes, without comment, that  46% of its clientele drop out before treatment, were treatment is  defined as attending 2 or more treatment sessions. So that the much vaunted 50% recovery rate, applies only to those who complete treatment! 

My own work Scott (2018) on 90 clients going through NHS Talking Therapies predecessor IAPT, was that only the tip of the iceberg recovered.

Dr Mike Scott