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PCMIS at the 9th Annual New Savoy Conference
'Psychological Therapies in the NHS'

New Savoy 2016 Logo

In early February, we attended the 9th Annual New Savoy Conference, the leading annual event for IAPT services. The theme this year was 'Psychological Therapies in the NHS'.

image of Clare Gerada and Jamie Hacker Hughes in front of PCMIS stand

Professor Jamie Hacker Hughes and Dr Clare Gerada

Key highlights included:

  • The launch of a new 'Staff Charter for Psychological Wellbeing and Resilience'. The aim of the Charter is to address concerns about moving the IAPT target from 15% access to 25% by 2020, within new waiting time targets of 6 weeks from referral to treatment. Professor Jamie Hacker Hughes, President of the British Psychological Society, endorsed the charter saying:

    "Health and wellbeing at work are vital issues which we of all people should be particularly concerned about. This is an area close to my heart... I have worked in, led and managed NHS services and have seen the effects of stress, overwork, inadequate supervision and consequent burnout at first hand"

    The former Health Secretary, the Right Honourable Alan Johnson MP, who launched the national IAPT initiative in 2008, has welcomed the Charter saying:

    "The introduction of IAPT was one of the highlights of my time as Health Secretary... It was and remains the most important mental health initiative for a generation and I fully support your ongoing work through this Charter to sustain the wellbeing of its staff who are the key to its success."

    Read more about the charter here

  • Professor Simon Wessely, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists gave a moving keynote speech on 'The roadmap to compassionate mental health care'.

  • On Day 1 a lively session of Question Time was chaired by Mark Easton of the BBC with guests the Right Honourable Alistair Burt MP, Minister for Community and Social Care and Luciana Berger MP, Shadow Cabinet Member for Mental Health. Respondents were Jacqui Dyer, Vice Chair of the Mental Health Taskforce and Dr Amra Rao of the British Psychological Society. Questions were raised about IAPT waiting times, concern about levels of depression and anxiety among IAPT staff.

  • Professor Hacker Hughes chaired a session entitled 'Leading the world in evidence-based therapies: the next phase of the IAPT revolution'. Professor Peter Fonagy, National Clinical Lead, CYP-IAPT gave the keynote address along with Kathryn Pugh, CYP-Mental Health Programme Lead and Professor David Clark, National Clinical Lead, Adult IAPT. Their talks focused on 'the access versus recovery conundrum: does translational science help us solve it or must we rely on managerial targets to drive outcomes?' and 'expanding CYP-IAPT over the next 4 years: what will be the offer?'

  • Day 2 began with a warmly received 'Personal & Professional View' from Dr Clare Gerada, GP and previous Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners and Professor Hacker Hughes. This was followed by a keynote session on NICE's independent role 'Defending quality so that vulnerable people don't lose out' chaired by Professor David Haslam CBE, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and Paul Burstow of Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust. Discussion centred on the new NICE depression guidelines and how they can make a difference to improving the wellbeing of the poor and vulnerable.

  • On Day 2 Mark Easton chaired another popular session: Any Questions? The Government plan to provide evidence-based welfare support to those with mental health issues. Respondents were Lord Freud, Minister for Welfare Reform, who spoke about the new Government Health and Work programme, and Theresa Grant, Chief Executive Trafford Council.

Two popular IAPT-related workshops attracted a large audience. These were facilitated by Dr Kim de Jong (University of Leiden, Netherlands), Dr Jaime Delgadillo (University of York & Northern IAPT Practitioner Research Network) and Dr Dean McMillan (Mental Health and Addictions Research Group, University of York). In the first workshop, Dr McMillan introduced a new multi-site trial on Predicting Patient Recovery and shared positive viewpoints from IAPT therapists on the use of outcome feedback forms in daily practice.

Dr Dean McMillan (Mental Health and Addictions Research Group, University of York)

Dr Dean McMillan's talk on Predicting Patient Recovery

A second workshop by Dr Delgadillo addressed the links between poverty and mental healthcare. His research question was: Are IAPT services equally accessible and equally effective for people in living in low and high income areas? Jaime presented data on the effects of socioeconomic deprivation on access to psychological therapies, and discussed how poverty influences patient outcomes.

He found evidence that people living in more deprived areas tend to have greater levels of psychiatric problems, are less likely to seek help for their mental health, less likely to start therapy after being referred and less likely to benefit from either antidepressants or psychological therapies. The overall finding was that while IAPT services in deprived areas receive more referrals, they don't have higher caseloads. Here's a link to his paper relating to his presentation.

The conference ended with a debate on workforce planning and leadership in psychological therapies. The primary question of this final session was 'what are the priorities for investment?'


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