Increase in referrals for talking therapies

The latest NHS Digital figures show that 1.6 million referrals were made to talking therapies for anxiety and depression in England during 2018-19.

The figure is an increase of 11.4 per cent on the previous year, with the number of referrals starting treatment last year also increasing, from 1.01 million in 2017-18 to 1.09 million, a rise of over eight per cent.

NHS Digital says that 89.4 per cent of referrals waited less than six weeks for their first treatment appointment and 99 per cent waited less than 18 weeks to enter treatment. Furthermore, 52.1 per cent of courses of treatment ended in a patient’s recovery in 2018-19 and 67.4 per cent showed reliable improvement - all of these represent improved performance.

People seek treatment through IAPT services for depression and a range of anxiety disorders such as agoraphobia, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorders, panic disorders and social phobias. The treatments can include therapies such as counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and peer support.

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