Dr Geraldine Strathdee discussing the future commissioning of evidence based Psychological Therapies

Celebrating IAPT - Past, Present and Future

The beginning of July saw CEDAR welcome colleagues from all over the UK to join us to celebrate 6 years of High Intensity IAPT training and look to the future of IAPT across the UK through a day’s conference, hosted by Professor Eugene Mullan and Dr Rachel Handley.

In 2008, the NHS began the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme, dedicated to spending over £700 million on psychological therapies between 2008 and 2014.  At the heart of the programme was the implementation of a new evidence-based approach to treatment alongside training a new workforce to deliver these treatments.  In the first three years alone , IAPT saw 900,000 more people treated for depression and anxiety,  450,000 patients in recovery, with 25,000 fewer people with mental health problems on benefits, and the average waiting time reduced from 18 months to a few weeks.  CEDAR has lead roles in the design, delivery and quality assurance of the training for the IAPT national programme and we were awarded a contract from the South West Strategic Health Authority to begin training the new IAPT workforce, which has grown hugely over the last 6 years.

Keynote speakers included one of the architects of IAPT, Professor David Clark, as well as the National Clinical Director for Mental Health at NHS England, Dr Geraldine Strathdee.   We also heard from the Deputy Director of Education and Quality at Health Education South West, Claire Chivers and National advisor for IAPT, Alex Stirzaker.   The CEDAR IAPT team also spoke about programme innovations and a panel session to close the day featured Kevin Jarmin, National IAPT Operations, Delivery & Finance Lead.

The conference hoped to celebrate the success of those that have previously graduated from the IAPT programmes, whilst reflecting on the IAPT experience thus far and discussing the future direction of IAPT training and service delivery.  It was a unique opportunity to hear about and debate IAPT with some of the most influential figures in the UK and attendees were also hopefully inspired again by the vision that underpins the IAPT agenda; access to evidence-based therapy for all those who suffer from mental health problems.

Date: 15 July 2014

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