New Online Supported Service Will Help Tackle Waiting Lists

NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) first service to go live with innovative offering from SilverCloud Health and Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

24 September 2015 – SilverCloud Health, a global provider of online behavioural and mental wellness solutions, is pleased to announce the launch of a new clinically supported model, which will focus on increasing the capacity of improving access to psychological therapy (IAPT) services, for people with mild to moderate symptoms of mental health problems including depression, anxiety and stress.

The innovative, new service, includes access to SilverCloud’s evidence-based suite of online programmes as well as clinical support from Berkshire Healthcare, which runs Talking Therapies - one of the top performing IAPT services in the country. 

SilverCloud Health worked closely with Berkshire Healthcare to develop the solution that can help to tackle short-term referral backlogs and reduce the impact of temporary staff shortages.

NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG is the first CCG to go live with the online supported service that will cut waiting times for people needing psychological therapies from Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. The SilverCloud trial will help 100 people on the current waiting list. The new online offering complete with clinical support is aimed at IAPT services and more broadly any organisation wanting to provide online therapeutic solutions.

Dr Ian Hulme, CCG mental health lead and GP with Meadowside Medical Centre, Congleton said: “We’re working hard to reduce IAPT waiting times and this online pilot service is an important part of that effort, offering immediate access to online cognitive behavioural therapy for common mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety and stress.”

 

Judith Chapman, clinical director for SilverCloud Health’s clinical partner Berkshire Healthcare said: “We are delighted to launch this supported service with SilverCloud Health, which we believe will help IAPT providers reduce referral backlogs - helping to achieve access, recovery and waiting list targets.”

The supported service includes:

  • Initial assessment of client suitability for supported online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) programme
  • A therapeutic programme, which includes access to the SilverCloud platform and highly engaging, clinically validated therapeutic content across anxiety and depression, with 12 weeks’ consecutive support from Berkshire’s IAPT trained supporters
  • High degree of transparency provided through detailed analytics and reporting

 

Ken Cahill, CEO at SilverCloud Health, said: “I am delighted to be launching this service with our partner, Berkshire Healthcare. Referral backlogs can put tremendous pressure on IAPT services trying to meet the April 2016 deadline for new access and waiting time standards. This new supported service will provide immediate access to evidence-based care and alleviate the pressure until IAPT services can increase their capacity.”

NHS England recently allocated £10m in funding to enable CCGs to address referral to treatment time (RTT) backlogs and help providers meet their targets in the future[1]. While extra funding is a key factor in increasing service reach and capacity it is also widely recognised that there is a national shortage of qualified Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (PWPs), which is a major risk factor in meeting the current NHS commitments for access and recovery. Workforce capacity issues are often associated with interim staff shortages, for example during PWP training or maternity cover.

Earlier this year SilverCloud Health launched a unique, first to market suite of customisable online therapeutic programmes to tackle co-morbid depression and anxiety disorders. Developed in close collaboration with Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, the IAPT compatible, eight-programme suite allows practitioners to create a personalised programme for clients to address multiple conditions such as depression, anxiety, worry and sleep problems. Previously IAPT services had to go to numerous providers for online therapy solutions to address multiple conditions.

[1] Guidance to support the introduction of access and waiting time standards for mental health services in 2015/16  available at: http://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/mh-access-wait-time-guid.pdf