A referral system for patients with common mental health disorders to online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) has been rolled out in GP practices in the Isle of Wight.
Practice nurses and GPs across 17 GP practices are now able to provide patients with access to tailored online CBT through the click of a button. Previously patients had to make appointments at their practice for contact details for the Improving Access to Physcological Therapies programme (IAPT). They then had to call IAPT to register, and wait for an appointment before being directed to the appropriate support services.
Sue Lightfoot, head of commissioning for children, mental health, dementia and learning difficulties at Isle of Wight CCG, said: 'It is estimated that 13,053 Isle of Wight residents experience anxiety or depression each year. We recognised the importance of early intervention and the need to improve access to psychological therapies, as well as improving patient choice when it comes to treatment options. We worked with SilverCloud Health to develop a simplified referral process, enabling secure, immediate access to customisable online CBT programmes within primary care.'
The programme has increased access points for patients but has reduced the steps they need to take. The results from the programme have seen recovery rates above 60% for those who have completed treatment.
Participating GP practices received guidance on assessing patient suitability for online CBT and materials for patients to explain what it is and how to sign up.The referral system was developed in collboration with SilverCloud Health, a provider of online therapeutic solutions to support and promote positive behaviour change and mental wellness.