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Over half of CCGs miss talking therapy referal target under IAPT

More than half of CCGs are failing to meet the target for the number of people who should be accessing talking therapies.

An analysis of official data on the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme, by mental health charity Mind, found that six in 10 CCGs missed the 15.8% target set by NHS England.

The target, which represents the proportion of the local population that has been identified as being able to benefit from talking therapies, is set to rise to 25% by 2021.

The IAPT programme was designed to increase accessibility of talking treatments to those who could benefit. 

But Pulse reported earlier this month that GPs are less likely to refer older people with mental health issues than younger patients.

The analysis also found that only half of met the recovery rate target for talking therapies, which is currently set at 50%.

Sophie Corlett, director of external relations at MIND, said the findings were ‘unacceptable’.

She said: ‘For too long, people accessing mental health services have not had the same right to timely treatment that we all expect if we have a physical health problem. 

‘One of the recommendations to come out of the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health report was to ensure that data was routinely made available to provide a clear picture of the state of mental health services.

‘The Government accepted these recommendations, and now that these figures are available, we are able to see exactly where in the country they are falling down and hold those responsible for their delivery – CCGs – to account.’