psychological therapists to be recruited into NHS
psychological therapists are to be brought into the NHS to treat
people with depression and anxiety.
The mass recruitment is part of a government expansion of psychological
Health Secretary Alan Johnson has announced that 900,000 more people
will be treated for depression and anxiety over the next three years
and that, by then, all GP practices will be able to prescribe psychological
is part of the government's
Improving Access to Psychological Therapies scheme, largely designed
to help people on incapacity benefit back to work.
Mr Johnson also promised that average waiting times for psychological
therapies will drop from the current 18 months to “a few weeks”,
as the therapy rolls out through the NHS.
He said that next year, in addition to the pilot sites in Newham,
London, and Doncaster in Yorkshire, psychological therapy will be
available in 20 new areas in England and Wales.
Mr Johnson said: "Improving access to psychological therapies
will give people with mental health problems a real choice of treatment,
helping to reduce dependence on medication."
The government says that by 2011 the NHS will spend £170m
per year on psychological therapies, with more than £30m in
2008/09 and more than £100m in 2009/10.
Lord Richard Layard of the London School of Economics and co-author
of the Depression Report said: “Mental health is the biggest
social problem in our country. This new service will bring relief
from misery to millions of people.”
The government says mental health problems are the largest single
cause of disability and illness in England accounting for 40% of
all physical and mental disability, and taking up a third of all
Lord Layard says the total economic loss, in sick leave, lost jobs
and reduced output, due to depression and chronic anxiety, is £12
billion a year in England.
July 26, 2007: People wait up to three-and-a-half
years for psychological therapy - figures from Derbyshire Mental
Health Trust come at time when government is promising to increase
access to psychological therapies
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