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'Appalling' mental health treatment waits slammed

24/11/2019, 17:49

PATIENTS with mental health conditions are waiting months for treatment, figures show.

People waited an average of 22 and a half weeks for individual Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) in 2016/17 in the Blackburn with Darwen CCG area.

But treatment waiting times are falling, with patients waiting an average of over 48 weeks for CBT treatment in 2014/15, according to the freedom of information data obtained by the British Medical Association (BMA).

Russ McLean, chairman of the Pennine Lancashire Patient Voices Group, branded the waits as appalling.

Mindsmatter offers talking therapies across the county and is the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service part of Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust.

A spokesman for Lancashire Care, the provider of the Mindsmatter service, said it is working hard to ensure that people needing access to psychological therapy are seen as quickly as possible.

The spokesman said: "We have a plan in place to ensure these waiting times are reduced.

“This includes recruitment of staff and providing alternatives to face-to-face therapy such as our online therapy sessions and group therapy courses that have short waiting times. We are also implementing a service redesign to help improve access to the treatment people need.”


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