According to a new major report, “Commissioning Effective Talking Therapies”, published by the Centre for Social Justice, the NHS is failing people with emotional difficulties by relying on too narrow a range of psychological therapies. The existing approach favours the disproportionate use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), whilst invalidating the wide range of other successful therapies available, wasting millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money in the process.
At present, many successful therapies offered in the private and voluntary sector are not yet recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), because it requires the same level of supporting evidence as treatments for chemotherapy or open heart surgery.
One in four adults will experience mental illness at some point during their lifetime, and one in six experience symptoms at any one time, making mental illness the largest single cause of disability in our society. The cost to the economy is estimated at £105 billion annually, with a loss of around £13 billion in earnings sustained by people of working age.
Yet the CSJ’s report finds that the NHS continues to choke the recovery of its patients by sticking to the stringent guidance and limited number of NICE approved therapies, which specify very narrow activities, rather than rewarding successful outcomes. The report urges the NHS to use therapists from the private and voluntary sector to allow people more choice, improved services and equal access.
If this is an issue you feel strongly about, you may wish to sign this petition to reform the NICE guidelines: