Recommissioning of Improved Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services; get involved now!

August 2, 2018 at 11:00 pm

After a number of months of work, Bristol’s local healthcare commissioners, the Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (BNSSG CCG), have published their draft specification for the recommissioning of Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services. This represents the next step towards deciding who will run the services, and how they will be run, from 2019; and also another opportunity for service users, carers, and those with lived experience of mental health to influence the outcome.

IAPT is a national programme introduced by the NHS in 2008 intended to support people of all ages who are experiencing low mood, anxiety and depression, stress, excessive worry, or difficulties controlling emotions. These therapies are sometimes known as ‘talking therapies’.

The process of recommissioning services of this scale has been underway for some time, being initiated in early 2015, when Bristol CCG (as it was then) launched their initial survey of service users’ experiences and perceptions of the current services. This included consulting on whether users felt that the services had worked for them, and what they would change. In conjunction with a working group, the CCG used this feedback to create a new model for the IAPT services.

You won’t hear references to the Bristol CCG anymore, as during the latter part of 2017, the respective CCGs of Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset merged into a single organisation. This unification has widened the scope of the IAPT programme, and therefore the consultation; and work towards the recommissioning of a single new service to provide psychological therapies across the new CCG area, to start in 2019, replacing current services, continued.

The draft specification has been developed through a year’s work of the IAPT Project Group. BIMHN is proud to have fed into this, alongside mental health commissioners, GPs and local authority Public Health representatives. Furthermore, BIMHN has also played a part in amplifying the voice of the public and service users, to ensure that their views are considered, for example via co-leading public consultations on the CCG’s approach, with The Care Forum.

Now, we are encouraging those with lived experience of mental health, carers and the wider public to feed into the future design of local services by reading the accompanying ‘You Said, We Did’ document, and making views, be they approving or critical, known via the survey. We want to make sure that the voices and service users and carers alike are heard.

Once again, BIMHN has worked to ensure that it will feed into this process, and therefore both represent and amplify the voices of service users, carers, and those with lived experience of mental health. As part of this, we will be running two focus groups:

Please note that it is essential to sign up for a place ahead of these sessions, as spaces are limited. Reasonable travel expenses will be reimbursed.

Look out for social media posts and other information being published in the coming weeks! We will have a series of ‘jargon busters’ to help explain the structure and manner the consultation is taking.

The consultation closes on Monday 27 August 2018.

August 2, 2018 at 11:00 pm | Uncategorized | No comment

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