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Access to psychological therapies: first annual report published

15 January 2014: The first annual report of experimental statistics for the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme is published today by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

*HSCIC must be quoted as the source of these figures

This reports on just under 762,000 people who were recorded in a new dataset as being referred last year for anxiety or depression treatment in England.

It shows women accounted for almost two thirds of the 762,000 people referred, (62 in every 100), while almost three quarters of people were aged between 20 and 49 (71 in every 100).

Today's 2012-13 report presents the first annual figures to come from the new IAPT national dataset3,4.

In total, IAPT services reported receiving 884,000 referrals in 2012-13, of which 434,000 referrals resulted in an individual entering treatment5.

Considering those 434,000 referrals reported as entering treatment in 2012-13:

  • 63 in every 100 (275,000 in total) were recorded as attending their first appointment within 28 days.
  • 92 in every 100 (401,000 in total) were recorded as attending their first appointment within 90 days.

Of the 884,000 referrals recorded in 2012-13, just under 535,000 were reported as ending in in the same year. The total ended referrals includes 269,000 attributed to people either declining or dropping out of treatment.

The report also looked at whether people who had treatment showed signs of improvement or moved to recovery6.

In 2012-13, of the 535,000 referrals reported to have ended, 27 in every 100 (144,000 in total) were recorded as having had at least two treatment sessions, which meant the effect of treatment could be assessed7. Of these, 57 in every 100 (83,000 out of 144,000) were reported as showing improvement8.

The report also looks at whether referrals ending treatment have resulted in a recovery from the condition. In order to be assessed for recovery, a referral entering treatment must meet the score threshold indicating a recognised case of depression or anxiety - known as "caseness".

Of the 535,000 referrals reported to have ended in 2012-13, 127,000 had initially met the "caseness" threshold when they entered treatment and of these 54,000 (43 in 100) had recovered by the time they completed treatment.

HSCIC chair Kingsley Manning said: "Today's report has been much anticipated given it provides the first annual snapshot of access to psychological therapies in England for people with anxiety and depression.

"The new dataset includes more than three quarters of a million people who were reported as being referred to these services in 2012-13. It is vital such information is not only collected and published but that it is read and used to help develop services."

The full report is at: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/pubs/psycther1213

ENDS


Notes to editors

1. The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) was established on April 1 2013 as an Executive Non Departmental Public Body (ENDPB). It is England's trusted data source, delivering high quality information and IT systems to drive better patient services, care and outcomes. Its work includes publishing more than 220 statistical publications annually; providing a range of specialist data services; managing informatics projects and programmes and developing and assuring national systems against appropriate contractual, clinical safety and information standards.

2. Numbers over 10,000 in this press release are rounded to the nearest 1,000.

3. The figures presented in this first annual report provide a picture of activity in Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services, and the people that use them, in 2012-13. The IAPT programme is designed to provide services for those suffering from anxiety and depression disorders, and the dataset is designed to support reporting on the treatment of these individuals, although locally IAPT services may also have expanded to treat other psychological disorders. The information presented uses version one of the IAPT dataset, which was first reported on in quarter one of 2012/13. The report also uses the latest population figures from the Office for National Statistics 2011 Census. As 2012/13 is the first year of reporting from this dataset, data is only reported on for those referrals that were received in the year. Referrals that started before April 2012 are excluded.

4. 2012/13 is the first year of reporting from this dataset; statistics are only reported for those referrals that were received in the year. It is recognised that there is some under counting of figures as may be expected when moving to a new dataset, particularly in the first half of the year. However, there has been marked improvement throughout the year as the quality and completeness of data provided by services has increased. Key Performance Indicators on the IAPT programme are also published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre and provide a more complete picture of activity. They can be found here http://www.hscic.gov.uk/searchcatalogue?q=title%3a%22Improving+Access+to+Psychological+Therapies%2c+Key+Performance+Indicators%22&sort=Most+recent&size=10&page=1#top

5. Activity, such as numbers entering and completing treatment, which relates to referrals that started before April 2012 is excluded. This means that numbers entering and completing treatment and recovering are likely to be undercounted, particularly in the early quarters of the year.

6. In order to enter treatment a referral must have a first treatment appointment. Being referred to IAPT services does not necessarily mean an individual will enter treatment, however, as they may be referred elsewhere or decline treatment for a number of reasons before treatment is provided. Additionally, in many cases it may be that the patient does not require treatment, and the best course of action is for them to be given guidance and advice rather than a full course of treatment

7. Scores from general and condition-specific questionnaires are used to determine whether a person has shown improvement or has moved to recovery. To show reliable improvement in a person's condition, there must be a positive change in one or both questionnaire scores and no deterioration in either. To show recovery, (referred to in the report as "reliable recovery") the scores at the end of the treatment must be below the "caseness" threshold, having been above the threshold when treatment started.In order to be eligible for to be assessed for improvement (referred to in the report as "reliable improvement"), a referral must have resulted in the an individual receiving at least two treatment appointments and the referral must have been ended.

8. In 2012-13 of the 535,000 referrals reported as closed, 144,000 were recorded as having involved at least two treatment appointments. The remainder may not have entered treatment or not had two or more treatment appointments, been referred elsewhere or declined treatment (for a number of reasons). Additionally, in many cases it may be that the patient does not require treatment and the best course of action is for them to be given guidance and advice rather than a full course of treatment.

9. Where this press release refers to 'improvement' the report uses the term 'reliable improvement'. For a more detailed definition of reliable improvement see the Glossary of the report on page 35.

10. For media enquiries please contact media@hscic.gov.uk or 0845 257 6990.

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