Developing the Workforce:Improving Access to Psychological Therapies in EIP

Alison Brabban1,2; 1NHS England, 2Durham University

Background: A key strand of the EIP A&WT standard is that all those with a first episode of psychosis should have access to NICE recommended interventions including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for psychosis (CBTp) and Family Interventions (NICE QS 80). Historically, access to psychological therapies has been poor owing to a number of factors including low numbers of staff with the competences to deliver psychological therapies, a lack of accessible and adequate training; limited availability of clinical supervision and a lack of ring-fenced time to deliver the interventions. Method: A national strategy was developed and implemented to improve access to psychological therapies for those with a first episode of psychosis across England. The strategy was designed to systematically address the recognised barriers to implementation. Results: The national implementation strategy was rolled out. This had a number of strands including: conducting a national audit to understand the baseline level of provision of therapy within EIP services; developing guidance on numbers of therapists required in each team, funding new therapist posts and establishing accessible, high quality training across the country. Conclusion: NICE guidelines on their own have been insufficient to improve availability of psychological therapies for psychosis, however, this can be achieved by taking a national strategic approach to implementation

Topic Area: Service System Development and Reform

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