Previous Work Focus

FPoP and Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT)

IAPT was one of FPoP's two strategic work streams in 2010/11. In 2010 PSIGE worked with clinical psychologists, IAPT workers and members of other professions interested in this area around the country to gather examples of best practice. These examples were presented at the Older People stream at the BABCP conference, a workshop at the Equalities in Mental Health conference and PSIGE workshops in Newcastle, London and Scotland. These conferences have raised issues about how IAPT is working for older people with the Department of Health and wider audiences represented by the New Savoy Partnership.

We know that older people comprise about 20% population and that they are very under represented in referrals for psychological therapies, typically only 4% of all adult referrals in primary care. We would like older people themselves to be more aware of the therapeutic opportunities available and work with GPs and other agencies to improve access to psychological therapies for older people. The Department of Health are committed to ensuring equal access for older people and are interested in identifying the characteristics of those IAPT services where older people are better represented in referrals.

During the autumn of 2010, Julia Boot and Louise Bergin collected and collated articles from across the membership, GPs, commissioners and service users for a very special edition of the PSIGE Newsletter which was published in January 2011 This is now freely available via a PDF (newsletter 113) on the PSIGE website homepage.

Since then, the government has appointed an Older Adult Psychologist, Marie Claire Shankland, to lead on inclusion of older people in IAPT. Also emerging from this work, has been the development of a curriculum for extending the skills of IAPT workers to work with older people. The report, authored by Dr Candy Stone, outlining the outcomes of this training across two pilot sites can be accessed here.

The document outlining the suggested competencies and the indicative curriculum for IAPT workers, developed under guidance from Tony Roth has now ben published. Please advise your colleagues to access this document (Indicative Curriculum for PWP and HITs) from the FPoP website.