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Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT)

Information about and from patients to encourage improved access to talking therapies for people with common mental health problems such as depression and anxiety disorders.

Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) is an NHS programme rolling out services across England offering interventions approved by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) for treating people with depression and anxiety disorders. We collect information about and from adults who are users of mental health services through the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies services.

The information is collected so it can be analysed to help the NHS to understand how services for people with depression or anxiety disorders operate, the treatments they provide, and the outcomes they achieve. This will help improve the way these services are delivered.

The information comes to us from any provider who has been commissioned by the NHS to provide talking therapy through the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service such as mental health trusts, NHS organisations, private clinics, counsellors, charities, or councils.

What we collect

The information that we collect from providers includes:

Details about the individual, such as:

  • The NHS number
  • Date of birth
  • Postcode
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Religion
  • Sexual orientation
  • A note of whether the person was in the British Armed Forces
  • Disability (this is separated into categories such as learning, hearing, sight, speech, behaviour and emotional, mobility, memory, etc)
  • Employment status (such as employed, unemployed, volunteer, homemaker)
  • A note on whether the patient has a long-term condition (but no detail of what that condition is)
  • Local patient identifier (this is usual a number that the local providers use to against a patient or service user's record)
  • The GP practice the patient is registered with.

Referral Details, such as:

  • Data of referral
  • Date of first appointment
  • Details of where the referral came from (for example self-referred or GP, etc).

Appointment Details such as:

  • Dates of appointments
  • Dates of attendance
  • What therapy was given during the appointment
  • Who gave the therapy (e.g. cognitive therapist, dynamic interpersonal psychotherapist, psychological well-being practitioner, employment support worker).

Outcome details, such as:

  • Level of anxiety or depression (as assessed by the patient/service user themselves)
  • Feedback from patients and service users on how well the services met their needs.

We are obliged to collect some data by law (Equalities Act) to demonstrate that services do not discriminate. Patients do have the option of leaving some of these questions out through a 'do not wish to say' option on the forms they complete.

How the information is used

The information that is collected is analysed by the HSCIC to provide a statistical reports which are published:

It is also analysed to support the answering of parliamentary questions for example on how long patients or service uses have to wait for an appointment from the point of referral, what the recovery rate is for patients/service users of these therapies.

The providers of these therapies and those that make the arrangements for these services to be available (commissioners) can securely access information in this collection about their own services through the HSCIC.

Learn more about IAPT

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