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NHS claims IAPT programme had over 50% ‘recovery’ rate last year

The improving access to psychological therapies (IAPT) programme met its target for a 50% recovery rate from depression and anxiety for the first time last year.

This is according to NHS Digital statistics, which found 51% of patients who finished a course of treatment in 2017/18 were considered recovered.

The NHS Digital report found that:

  • The overall recovery rate among patients who completed treatment was up by 2 percentage points in 2017/18 compared with the previous year, and 8 percentage points since records began in 2012/13.
  • Just under 90% of patients referred to IAPT started a course of therapy within the six-week target, up by around 2.5 percentage points from the previous year.
  • Around two thirds of patients who completed an IAPT treatment course experienced symptom improvement, based on self-reported questionnaire scores at the beginning and end of treatment.

However, the news comes as a recent Pulse investigation revealed that 42% of patients who started the IAPT programme only attended one session.

The investigation further revealed that more than half of patients are having to wait longer than a month between their first and second appointment – contrary to NICE recommendations.

At the time, GPs accused commissioners of taking ‘a tick-box approach’ to ‘give the impression of progress when in fact nothing worthwhile is achieved for patients’.


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