‘Not enough’ patient access to mental health talking therapies
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.”