Patients referred for psychological therapies are waiting vastly different lengths of time to be treated depending on where they live, latest official figures show.
Data for the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IATP) programme published today show just 3% of patients at one CCG – NHS Eastern Cheshire – received their first treatment within the Government target of 28 days last year.
By contrast, 96% of patients at another NHS Barking and Dagenham CCG were treated on time.
The figures show there were just over one million referrals into IAPT services in 2013/14, for 950,000 individual patients, two-thirds of whom were women.
Regionally, the Durham, Darlington and Tees area team had the highest rate of referrals entering treatment within 28 days, at 86%, whilst Lancashire and Shropshire and Staffordshire area teams had the lowest rates, both at 24%.
Lancashire had the highest rate of referrals waiting over 90 days to enter treatment, at 34%.
Overall, 920,000 referrals were discharged from IAPT services during the year and 40% of these completed the course of treatment (at least two treatments), but over a third of all referrals into IAPT services – 37% – were discharged without ever even being seen.
Of referrals that were at caseness at the beginning of treatment, only around 45% recovered, well short of the Government target of 50%, although again results varied and 48 CCGs reported 50% or more recovery rates.