Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) – your primary care psychological therapy services explained


What do these services offer?

One in four people will experience depression or anxiety at some point of their lives but help is available for people whose daily lives are affected.  IAPT services are psychological therapy services tailored to people's needs and include talking therapies, group approaches, couples therapy and self-help support for people who experience anxiety and depression.


Choosing My IAPT Provider

There are currently four IAPT providers in Derbyshire with a further one due to start in September 2016.  Patients aged 16 or over and who are registered with a Derbyshire GP practice can choose from any of these services.  All four providers offer the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence NICE recommended therapies and approaches for common mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. You might choose the provider closest to your home, workplace or family. Alternatively, you may choose the service with the shortest waiting times, the widest choice of types of treatment or the highest recovery or reliable improvement scores.


 What are the recovery and reliable improvement scores?

All patients who access the service are asked to complete at least two brief questionnaires at every session. The results of the questionnaires not only let you know if you are improving but also help  rate the quality of services patients are receiving.  The target is that at least 50 per cent of people using the service achieve full recovery according to the results of the questionnaires. We call these the “recovery scores”.  If the recovery score is 50% or over then this means that more than half of the patients they see fully recover so a high percentage score is very good. Another way of rating the quality of the service is the reliable improvement score which is the percentage of people who experience a significant improvement in their symptoms.   The target for reliable improvement is 65%. If the reliable improvement rate is 65% or over then it means that more than 65% of patients experience  a significant improvement in their symptoms.


 How long will I have to wait?

Waiting times vary and this can be for a number of reasons including waiting longer…  

  • …for the different types of therapy that the services offer
  • …if you want to be seen on a particular day or time
  • …if there is a particular location where you wish to be seen.

The target is that all patients should be seen for a first appointment –‘an assessment appointment’ - within 6 weeks of the provider receiving your referral.  This is counted from the day you contacted the service or the day the service received the GP referral.

The assessment appointment is where the therapist decides with you if you need to be seen for more sessions – called treatment sessions.  In some services you may need to wait again for a number of weeks until an appointment becomes available for treatment to take place.  In others there is only a minimal waiting time between the initial assessment session and when treatment starts.

The table below tells you what percentage of patients have waited under 6 weeks for the assessment appointment and what percentage have had to wait within 28 days or longer for a second appointment, which is usually when treatment starts.  Once you have selected a provider and made contact with them, they will estimate how long the waiting list is at that time.

They will also be able to estimate the waiting time between your first and second appointment.


 How do I access the services?

There are two ways to be referred:

  1. GP referral: where your GP refers you to the service following a consultation
  2. Self-referral: where you access the service directly - usually by telephone, referral pack (with information about the service which may have been given to you by your GP) or online

If the referral is not accepted, you and your GP will be informed, or you may be referred to an alternative, more appropriate service.

If your referral is accepted, the provider will contact you to arrange an initial assessment.


Where are the services based?

The services are in various places including GP surgeries, community centres, purpose-built offices or health clinics. Services are always trying to find new venues so locations may change. Services may be delivered face to face, by telephone or via web based video. The table below gives you an indication of the areas where the providers have clinics/rooms where the service is offered.  Some providers also offer sessions via telephone.  This is particularly helpful for people who live in areas with limited transport and for those people who have mobility problems. 

Hardwick commission services on behalf of the whole of Derbyshire

 View Derbyshire patient waiting times here