Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG’s) should consider why other parts of the UK have not followed England’s lead on IAPT, after more than a decade. Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have remained unimpressed by IAPT’s groundbreaking claims and have not followed suit. In Wales almost 40% of people surveyed said ‘yes’ or ‘mostly’ when asked had the services they accessed led to improved mental health and wellbeing [Gofal (2016) Peoples experiences of primary mental health services in Wales Three Years On]. The results show that the largest proportion of respondents (79%) were offered prescription medication. The proportion of people who felt that they has been offered advice and information was 77%. 21.5% were offered Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, while 32% were offered another form of psychological therapy. 36% were offered a further mental health assessment. 26% were referred to another service and 17% were signposted to another service. Just 12% were offered physical exercise, 10% were offered books on prescription and 3% were offered befriending. If you have a mental health problem in Wales it is not obviously worth the trip across the border to an English IAPT service.
There are undoubtedly serious problems with mental health services across the UK, but these are no less in England despite IAPT. .
Dr Mike Scott