Waiting list eradication in secondary care psychology: Addressing a National Health Service blind spot
MetadataShow full item record
Zaffer Iqbal, Nicola D Airey , Sophie R Brown , Nat M J Wright , Deborah Miklova, Victoria Nielsen , Kathryn Webb, Aamer Sajjad. Waiting list eradication in secondary care psychology: Addressing a National Health Service blind spot. Clin Psychol Psychother . 2021 Jan 8
Objectives: Waiting times for secondary care psychological therapy remain a 'blind spot' in serious mental illness (SMI) provision, and their reduction is a priority within the National Health Service (NHS) Five Year Forward View. The paper describes the eradication of waiting times within a community-based NHS service and the effectiveness of strategies whilst examining help-seeking behaviour, compliance and therapeutic need. Methods: Analyses are reported for treatment compliance and therapeutic outcomes for 208 waiting-list cohort individuals seen by the SMI psychology service over an 18-month period between October 2014 and March 2016. Results: No significant clinical or demographic differentiation between individuals who successfully completed therapy compared to those who disengaged was observed. Despite an average 2.20-year waiting time, this alone did not significantly impact engagement with psychological treatment and all psychological therapies provided led to a significant clinical improvement and no individuals who completed therapy required re-referral at 12-month follow-up. Conclusions: If imposed appropriately over a suitable time frame evidence-based practice coupled with effective operationalization can result in efficient needs-led psychological provision within SMI and secondary care. Potentially debilitating waiting times for service users and other referring professionals can be avoided, whilst psychology provision retains a flexible, formulation-based and person-centred approach.