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Boost for talking therapies scheme

£1.2 million investment in talking therapies

Adrian O'Dowd

Thursday, 20 December 2012

New ways of treating people with severe mental illness such as talking therapies are to be piloted following a cash boost, it has been announced.

The Department of Health has awarded £1.2million to six sites in England that are trying to improve the care and treatment of people with severe mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia and psychosis.

There are an estimated 1.8 million people who are affected by severe mental illness and various schemes are looking at new ways of treating these people, including reducing medication, where appropriate.

Six NHS pilot sites are to be supported by an additional £1.2 million to carry out work showing the benefits of NICE recommended psychological therapies in the treatment of people with a severe mental illness or personality disorder.

The funding will be used to help these trusts share information with other health organisations about how they deliver the best treatments that lead to improved patient choice and recovery.  The results will be published next year.

Work will include demonstrating how people with severe mental illness and personality disorder can get better access to psychological therapies; sharing good practice to other services and sharing how improvements in services can be made; and providing good quality data on how services can be improved for patients and identifying the clinical, non-clinical and economic benefits.

The six successful sites were chosen as specialists in their field after an application process. They are South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust; Lancashire Care Foundation Trust - Early Intervention Service; Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust; Barnet, Enfield and Haringey NHS Foundation Trust; North East London Foundation Trust; and Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust working in partnership with Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research, Lancaster University. 

Health minister Norman Lamb said: “For too long people with the most severe mental illnesses and personality disorders have suffered from poor care, or have been over prescribed anti-psychotic medications. We are prioritising mental health like never before, making sure that it sits on par with physical health.

“We want to see massive improvements in treatment for people with severe mental illnesses, including better access to psychological therapies. I am looking forward to seeing the results of our pilots and an improvement in care for those most in need.”

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