Depressed patients are being failed by the NHS
- 20 Jan
Reports show that only half of anxiety and depression sufferers who asked help actually received it last year.
Fewer than half of the patients who sought help from the NHS last year in regards to anxiety and depression received any treatment, an official report into the governments "talking therapies" programme shows.
GPs made 883,968 referrals for psychological support in England during 2013-13, however only 49% of them led to some suffering from mental health problems to start receiving treatment a NHS report has found. This has prompted concerns that many patients have to wait too long after being referred for therapy till their first appointment, reports the Guardian.
"The gap between the numbers of people being referred and those actually entering treatment is cause for significant concern and echoes our own research, which shows that people are waiting far too long between referral and starting therapy," said Vicki Nash, head of policy and campaigns at the mental health charity Mind.
The figures are the first annual report by the NHS's Health and Social Care Information Centre into the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies scheme. The programme was introduced by Labour in 2008 to help people suffering psychological distress and it has been continued.
The other 51% did not receive a first treatment during 2012-13, 37% of these were still waiting at the end of the year.
Ms Nash has warned that the delays could have very damaging consequences "The longer someone has to wait for the treatment they need, the greater the risk that they will become more unwell and need more intensive treatment further down the line," she said. "Mind has heard many terrible stories of relationship breakdowns, people becoming estranged from their children, or people struggling to stay in work while they wait for treatment, while others become so unwell they harm themselves or become suicidal."
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