‘Not enough’ pa­tient ac­cess to men­tal health talk­ing ther­a­pies

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - KAREN BRITTON

PA­TIENTS are not get­ting enough ac­cess to talk­ing ther­a­pies for men­tal health prob­lems accord- ing to new data.

Fig­ures from NHS Eng­land show the clin­i­cal com­mis­sion­ing group re­spon­si­ble for health­care in Mac­cles­field and the area has missed its tar­get for peo­ple get­ting the help they need from talk­ing ther­a­pies.

These ther­a­pies in­clude coun­selling and cog­ni­tive be­havioural ther­apy for prob­lems in­clud­ing de­pres­sion, anx­i­ety and ad­dic­tion.

The na­tional yearly tar­get is for 15.8 per cent of peo­ple who could ben­e­fit from talk­ing ther­a­pies ac­tu­ally get­ting treat­ment. The tar­get for the last quar­ter was to treat 3.95pc of those peo­ple, but Eastern Cheshire Clin­i­cal Com­mis­sion­ing Group missed this tar­get, with just three per cent of peo­ple with men­tal health prob­lems ac­cess­ing a talk­ing ther­apy.

And the prob­lem is only set to get worse, with the yearly tar­get due to rise to 25 per cent by 2021.

So­phie Cor­lett, from men­tal health char­ity Mind, said: “It’s un­ac­cep- table that nearly three in five clin­i­cal com­mis­sion­ing groups are miss­ing tar­gets es­pe­cially as the tar­get only stands at less than 16pc of the lo­cal pop­u­la­tion who could po­ten­tially ben­e­fit from this type of treat­ment.

“Men­tal health ser­vices have been woe­fully un­der­funded for years.”

The data shows that nearly six in 10 CCGs are fail­ing to meet the tar­get.

Dr Ian Hulme, clin­i­cal lead for men­tal health at NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG, de­fended the fig­ures.

He said: “The data refers to the pe­riod from Oc­to­ber to De­cem­ber 2016 and pre­dates the launch of Eastern Cheshire’s in­no­va­tive Talk­ing Ther­a­pies ser­vice in Fe­bru­ary 2017.

“Per­for­mance of the new ser­vice puts it on course to achieve the na­tional tar­get for 201718.

“The new ser­vice is pi­o­neer­ing in that it not only of­fers clin­i­cally-based talk­ing ther­a­pies, it also tack­les the causes of men­tal ill health by of­fer­ing coun­selling and prac­ti­cal sup­port on is­sues in­clud­ing lone­li­ness, so­cial iso­la­tion, fi­nan­cial prob­lems, re­la­tion­ship break­down and be­reave­ment.

“The non-clin­i­cal side of this holis­tic ser­vice is de­liv­ered by Mac­cles­field­based Peaks and Plains Hous­ing Trust in part­ner­ship with Age UK Cheshire East and the Dove Ser­vice.

“This has been fur­ther strength­ened this month by the in­tro­duc­tion of drop-in ses­sions in Mac­cles­field, Con­gle­ton and Hand­forth.”

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