The new ‘Integrated Long Term Condition Service’ for people with a long term physical health condition has been launched by Healthy Minds Stoke-on-Trent Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) team. The integrated service aims to treat patients with anxiety and depression and reduce the distress caused by physical health difficulties so that they can be managed more effectively.
Research evidence suggests that people with a long term physical health condition are three times more likely to experience anxiety and depression than the general population, particularly those people living with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, COPD, and musculoskeletal disorders. Comorbid mental health problems affect people’s everyday lives, leading to poorer outcomes, lowering quality of life and a reduced ability to effectively manage physical symptoms.
To improve access and shape services for people with a long term condition, Healthy Minds and Combined Healthcare’s Clinical Health Psychology team will be streamlined so they work together to establish a patients’ clinical needs and support them to be seen by the service that most effectively meets their needs.
All self-referrals and GP referrals to either service will now be pooled and receive an initial assessment from Healthy Minds, supported by Health Psychology before being taken on by either Healthy Minds or Secondary Clinical Health Psychology, depending on the assessed need. This should speed up access for patients to an evidenced based intervention at the correct level.
The expectation is that patients will be offered the least intensive intervention that is likely to result in clinical improvement. As the evidence suggests adapted NICE-approved evidence based treatments with trained specialist wellbeing therapists will support people to access holistic care so they can learn self-help skills to manage their physical health condition and mental health difficulties, this may reduce health utilisation.
Although the service response will always be tailored to meet individual needs at all times this ensures patients with more complex mental health and physical health difficulties will be supported to commence treatment in Secondary Care Clinical Health Psychology.
If you think your patients with a long term condition who have anxiety and depression could benefit from learning self-help skills, please contact Healthy Minds (details below) or ask your patient to self-refer by ringing the numbers below; or, if you prefer please forward your referral to:
- Healthy Minds on 0300 123 0907 (option 2). This service supports anyone aged 18 or over who is registered with a Stoke-on-Trent GP. More information is available at www.healthy-minds.org.uk.