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Psychological Therapies for Severe Mental Health Problems


The Psychological Therapies for Severe Mental Health Problems Programme supports the delivery of the core clinical programmes within the Long Term Plan and the Mental Health Implementation Plan 2019/20 - 2023/24 (the Implementation Plan) by connecting commissioners, providers, professionals, patients and the public across pathways of care with the aim of improving health outcomes. This is achieved by sharing best practice and innovation, assessing and benchmarking quality and outcomes and driving improvement where required, through targeted support.

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Laura Ansboro

Clinical Network Manager

Denise Friend

Quality Improvement Manager

Dr Steve Wright

Adult Mental Health Clinical Lead

Alison Brabban

Chair, Psychological Therapies for Severe Mental Health Problems Forum (North East and Yorkshire)

What we are trying to achieve

Improving access to Psychological Therapies (PT) for people with severe mental health problems (SMHP) is part of the NHS Long Term Plan (LTP), with the aim of:

  • Improved access to PT SMHP for 370,000 people receiving care in new models of integrated primary and community care for people with SMHP
  • 55,000 people with SMHP accessing Individual Placement and Support services by 2023/24
  • Service Users and Carers should have choice and there should be improved outcomes for service users

In Yorkshire and the Humber, key deliverables are to:

  • Commission training courses for our workforce to improve the service capacity to deliver PTs for this group of patients
  • Raise the profile amongst providers and commissioners of the importance of psychological therapies within community-based mental health care
  • Develop guidance and standards as needed to support implementation of psychological therapies

Why It’s Important

The NHS Long Term Plan (LTP) commits to creating new and integrated models of primary and community mental health care, which supports both adults and older adults with SMHP. This is in response to low levels of provision of NICE recommended psychological therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Psychosis and Family Interventions Therapy, for people with SMHP.

As part of the Community Mental Health Transformation Programme the new community-based offer will include access to psychological therapies. Access to this programme of therapies historically has been challenging due to a number of factors including workforce availability to deliver this treatment and the accredited training available.

To support NHS-commissioned mental health providers to deliver the LTP commitment, NHS England has produced Psychological Therapies for Severe Mental Health Problems: Implementation Guidance 2020/21.

What We Have Achieved In The Last 6 Months:

  • The Yorkshire and the Humber Clinical Network have worked jointly with our North East and North Cumbria (NENC) Clinical Network colleagues and have established a forum across North East and Yorkshire to support the implementation of the PT for SMHP Community Mental Health transformation and the NICE recommended training. This forum is chaired by the NENC Clinical Lead and National Clinical Advisor Dr Alison Brabban.
  • Work with stakeholders has included identifying areas of best practice regionally and nationally. This learning has been shared with Community Mental Health Trusts (CMHTs) and NHS England (including Workforce, Training and Education (WTE) - formerly Health Education England) to improve capacity for delivery of psychological therapies for people with SMHP. This has included a focus on workforce and supervisor training.
  • Tailored improvement support to meet local need and bespoke offers implemented.
  • Facilitated the expansion of supervisor capacity within the region.

Meetings and Events

  • PT SMHP Forum for NEY - quarterly. Alternate meetings led by the Clinical Network and WTE
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Practitioner Community of Practice - quarterly
  • Community Mental Health Transformation Regional Collaborative - bi-monhtly

Professionals – please contact us for details of our FutureNHS page

What We Plan To Do In The Next 6 Months:

We will continue to:

  • Engage with all stakeholders, identifying areas of best practice across the region and nationally and share this to increase learning and enhance service provision.
  • Work with CMHTs, NHS England (including WTE) to further improve capacity for delivery of PTs for SMHP.