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Investigation launched into computerised CBT postcode lottery

By Lilian Anekwe

The postcode lottery in access to computerised cognitive behavioural therapy (cCBT) is set to be investigated after warnings that GPs are still not able to refer to the services in many PCTs.

Pulse found trusts were failing in their legal obligation to provide cCBT, which was recommended in a NICE technology appraisal in 2006 for the treatment of mild to moderate depression, panic disorder and phobia.

The NHS Confederation, which has previously warned PCTs had a statutory direction to provide cCBT, is now to launch a probe into which PCTs are still yet to commission a service.

Liberal Democrat heath spokesperson Norman Lamb has also launched an early day motion in Parliament, highlighting that three years after the publication of the NICE guidance and numerous promises by Secretaries of State for Health, ‘cCBT has yet to be made available in all primary care trusts in sufficient quantities to meet the known need.'

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