First key performance indicators published for the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme

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The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme aims to provide evidence-based psychological therapies for people with depression and anxiety disorders.

The NHS Information Centre have published the first set of key performance indicators for the programme, which aim to provide the Department of Health, IAPT services, commissioners and members of the public with information on how IAPT services are performing.

The 4-year vision for the programme was set out in February 2011 when the following objectives were set by the Department of Health:

  • 3.2 million people will access IAPT, receiving brief advice or a course of therapy for depression or anxiety disorders;
  • 2.6 million patients will complete a course of treatment;
  • Up to 1.3 million (50 per cent of those treated) will move to measurable recovery.

From April 2011 the following indicators are being used to measure improvement:

  • The proportion of people entering treatment against the level of need in the general population;
  • The proportion of those entering treatment against the number referred. The level of need in the general adult population is known as the rate of prevalence, defined by the Psychiatric Morbidity Survey.

The NHS Information Centre have published the Q1 results (Apr-Jun 2011) and the key facts are as follows:

  • 210,540 people were referred for psychological therapies
  • 123,975 entered treatment *
  • It is estimated that 6.1 million people suffer from anxiety and depression disorders in England indicating that the access rate of people with anxiety or depression orders to IAPT services is 2.0 per cent
  • The recovery rate for England for people who were at caseness (i.e. suffering from depression and/or anxiety disorders) at their first session but not at caseness at their last session was 42.0 per cent
  • Recovery rates varied from 7% to 63% between different Primary Care Trusts, which may reflect a lack of qualified staff to provide the psychological therapies
  • During the reporting quarter 5,001 people moved off sick pay and benefits

* The number of people who completed treatment in the quarter is not a direct subset of the number of people referred in the same quarter, as some may have been referred for treatment in a previous quarter.

The Information Centre website features various datasets and analysis spreadsheets as well as the report summary itself, for those who are interested in further detail.

Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Key Performance Indicators (IAPT KPIs) Q1 Apr 2011 – Jun 2011. NHS Information Centre, 20 Sep 2011.

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