Service aims to improve access to psychological therapies

Date: 21 Dec 2015

Category: Services

GP practices in South Gloucestershire are introducing a new approach to help people access the right psychological therapies for their needs.

Like many areas of the country South Gloucestershire is seeing a rise in the number of people with mental health problems and the new service, which has been commissioned by NHS South Gloucestershire CCG, aims to ensure they receive a faster, more in-depth diagnosis to enable them to be treated and recover more quickly.

More immediate and in-depth diagnosis

The service, being delivered by Oasis Talk, a Well-being and Therapies service in Bristol and South Gloucestershire, will allow people to see a highly experienced member of staff at their first appointment.

The therapist will spend up to 90 minutes with the person to consider carefully what support they need moving forward and then discuss the course of treatment recommended or a specialist service to access.

Getting the right treatment

By spending over an hour with a highly experienced therapist at their first appointment, we hope that the patient will receive a more immediate and in-depth diagnosis.

This will enable them to receive the right treatment quickly so that they can get back to enjoying life and engaging with work or daily activities as soon as possible.

Support for a wide range of issues

Whether you’re depressed, stressed, anxious or dealing with any one of a wide range of common psychological and emotional issues, the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service is available to help.

Everyone’s psychological and emotional issues differ and therefore various levels of support are needed.

"This pilot supports the CCG’s long-term aim of improving mental health services in South Gloucestershire. There are growing numbers of people in South Gloucestershire with mental health problems and we’re working closely with our partners to increase the availability and quality of treatment."

- Dr Peter Bagshaw, Clinical Lead for Mental Health for South Gloucestershire CCG and GP at the Willow Surgery

Piloting the service

The service began in November 2015 and is being trialled among a ‘cluster’ of GP practices including Orchard Medical Centre, the Three Shires Medical Practice, Christchurch Family Medical Centre and the Willow Surgery over the next 12 months.

The CCG will then consider whether to offer the same enhanced service to patients in other GP practices in South Gloucestershire in the longer term.

As well as being referred by their GPs, patients can also self-refer to the service.

"We provide a range of treatment programmes including one to one therapy, counselling and group work. By working together to deliver this enhanced service we hope to improve patients’ experience of mental health services and their recovery rates."

- Vicki Palmer, Clinical and Managing Director of Oasis-Talk