Psychological therapies as "best buy". But what about the waiting list?

Mind, the leading mental health charity, has recently published a new report, Personal health budgets – getting them right in mental health. Mind conducted research with people with mental health problems to find out what they want from the services and support they use to manage their mental health, and what role personal health budgets might play in improving their experience of care and their health and wellbeing outcomes.

People with mental health problems told Mind that being able to access a choice of treatments and support and being able to be involved in joint-care planning are key to improving their experience of mental health care. Mind sees these ideas as being central to personal health budgets.

The Government has committed to rolling out personal health budgets in the NHS in England for patients who could benefit from them. In line with the Government’s commitment to ‘parity of esteem’ in the Health and Social Care Act, this should apply equally to mental health and physical health.


The evaluation of the national pilot programme indicated that personal health budgets “had a significant positive impact on care-related quality of life, psychological wellbeing and subjective wellbeing”1 of the people taking part. People with mental health problems reported improvements in their physical health, and people with physical health problems likewise reported better mental health. Personal health budgets were also shown to be cost-effective for people with mental health problems, reducing their use of primary and secondary care.


The Mind report showed that psychological therapies come top of the list of what people would “buy” if they had a personal health budget. Long waits for these therapies were one of the most common complaints from the mental health service users who were surveyed.


My experience is that it can be distressing for those in need of therapy to be told that they have got to wait some months to see someone. But private counsellors in the Hastings area generally able to offer quick access to counselling, without any waiting list. 

added at 12:09am on 12th September 2013

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