People with anxiety, depression and other common mental health problems will be offered far greater access to talking therapy in Medway, thanks to a new NHS initiative.
New organisations have been given the go-ahead to provide talking therapy, including cognitive behavioural therapy, in every part of Kent and Medway.
This is as a result of the initiative Any Qualified Provider, which opens up choice for patients and gives them more control over their care.
People who feel that anxiety, depression, anger or other emotional wellbeing issues are interfering with their lives, will be able to refer themselves for an assessment by their provider of choice.
Following that assessment, those people who are eligible for NHS-funded therapy will be offered a number of sessions, which may be over the phone or face to face. Others will be offered information and advice.
Dr Nathan Nathan Chair of Medway CCG said: “I am delighted that so soon after World Mental Health Day on 10 October, which this year focuses on depression, we will be seeing such a substantial increase in services locally for people with anxiety, depression and other common mental health problems.
“Talking therapy is approved by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence as the most effective treatment for people with mild to moderate depression or anxiety.
“We expect people to be able to access treatment much more quickly as a result of this expansion of services, which in itself is likely to improve the outcome for them.”
NHS Kent and Medway ran a procurement process for the new services. Organisations which met NHS standards were accredited to become providers. They include NHS organisations, such as Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership (KMPT), Charitable organisations, such as KCA and private organisations such as MHCO Ltd.
Changes in Medway
Currently, KCA provides talking therapy for people with mild needs and KMPT for people with moderate to severe needs. From 1 November, both organisations are planning to extend their range to offer talking therapies to both those with mild and those with moderate to severe needs. In addition, MHCO Ltd are planning to start to offer talking therapies from 1 November, while Mental Health Matters is planning to offer therapy to people with mild to moderate needs and Get Stable to people with moderate to severe needs, from 1 December.