Dr Nicola Wiles and Dr David Kessler, Directors of the Psychological Therapies in Primary Care Health Integration Team (InPsyTe HIT), give an update on the HIT's work in 2014-15.
Our HIT aims to improve the psychological care for patients with depression, anxiety and other common mental disorders. These are a major cause of disability, and patients express a preference for psychological therapy rather than medication. We also want to innovate, and one of our major themes is the development of online technology to improve access to psychological treatments.
We are a new HIT and are just getting started. We have developed a strong leadership team which brings together commissioners, the council, patients, clinicians and academics. We had our inaugural meeting of the wider HIT group in March where we heard presentations on patient involvement, equality and diversity, the delivery of therapy, and the re-commissioning of primary care mental health services that is under way.
From this meeting we’ve identified three themes to focus on: improving access to service, technological innovation, testing and engagement with therapy, and PPI.
Our short and medium term goals are to work to inform changes in service design and provision now and to add an evaluative component to the design of the new service.
In the longer term, our goals are more ambitious. We want to bring the latest evidence into practice, to improve engagement with psychological therapies. We will also strive to expand access to psychological therapies through digital innovation, including a new model of the delivery of cognitive behavioural therapy integrating the work of the therapist with online materials.