Improving Access to Psychological Therapies
Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) is a United Kingdom initiative to improve access to psychological therapies. It was a result of the economic evaluations by Professor Lord Richard Layard and Labour Party policy. The aim of the project is to increase the provision of evidence-based treatments for anxiety and depression  by primary care organisations. This includes workforce planning to adequately train the mental health professionals required.
Initial indications show that the project has resulted in good clinical outcomes  and is cited as a good example of the use of stepped-care to disseminate cognitive behaviour therapy. It is predicted that by 2011,[dated info] approximately 900,000 people will have received treatment, and 3600 new staff will have been trained, possibly removing 25,000 people from sick pay and sickness benefits.
There has been some criticism for the sole use of cognitive behavioural therapy as the only funded therapy and debate over whether IAPT's roll-out may result initially in low quality therapy being offered by poorly trained practitioners.
In December 2010, Paul Burstow, Minister for Care Services, announced an extension to the IAPT project to include Children and Young Peoples services.
Beacon UK analysed the indicators data submitted by existing IAPT services across England for 2011-12 and reported:
- 533,550 people accessed IAPT services, reaching only 8.7% of people suffering from anxiety and depression disorders.
- Four out of 31 (13%) IAPT services in London and 37 out of 151 (25%) services in England achieved the national target of a 50% recovery rate.
- 96,770 (11%) people waited more than 28 days from referral to first treatment session.
- 22,498 (6.8%) people no longer required sick pay or benefits following a course of treatment.
- 60.1% of referrals to IAPT entered treatment. The highest acceptance rate was at Calderdale (99.7%); the lowest acceptance rate was Telford and Wrekin (28.9%).
The government pledged £118m annually from 2015 to 2019 to increase access to psychological therapies services to children and young people.
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