GP Patients Benefit from Immediate Referral to iCBT

June 9th, 2015: SilverCloud Health, a global provider of online behavioural and mental wellness solutions is pleased to announce the successful rollout of a new GP referral programme with the Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group (IW CCG). The new model, launched in January 2015 across 17 GP practices, enables GPs to directly provide their patients with access to tailored online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) programmes at the click of a button. The new model increases access points and reduces the steps to entry for online therapy. 

With GPs primarily being the first point of contact for patients with mental health concerns, approximately one in four GP patients need treatment for mental health problems[1]. The new model allows GPs to directly assess and refer patients to online therapy, providing immediate, secure access for the patient, available 24/7.  

Previously patients with mild anxiety and/ or depression would access primary mental health services by making an appointment for an assessment with the IAPT service Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner who would then route the patient to the appropriate support services. In the new model, trained Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners are still used to offer support and guidance throughout the programme.

Sue Lightfoot, Head of Commissioning for Children, Mental Health, Dementia and Learning Difficulties at IW CCG, said:

“It is estimated that 13,053 Isle of Wight residents experience anxiety or depression each year. We recognised the importance of early intervention and the need to improve access to psychological therapies, as well as improving patient choice when it comes to treatment options. We worked with SilverCloud Health to develop a simplified referral process, enabling secure, immediate access to customisable online CBT programmes within primary care. The results from the programme have seen recovery rates above 60% for those who have completed treatment.”

Additionally, this further facilitates the need of some patients for anonymity by allowing them to access mental health services through the confidential doctor-patient relationship and in a less stigmatising online environment.

Participating GP practices received guidance on assessing patient suitability for online CBT and materials for patients to explain what it is and how to sign-up.

Ken Cahill, CEO at SilverCloud Health, said:

“We are delighted to see positive interim results of this pilot. It has shown it is possible to provide access to evidence based treatment within a matter of minutes, ensuring that patients receive the support that they need, as soon as they need it. It makes the referral pathway more efficient and enables patients to access treatment more quickly.”

Isle of White Clinical Commissioning Group (IW CCG)

The Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group (IW CCG) is made up of all 17 GP practices on the Island including GPs, practice nurses and other healthcare professionals. In ensuring the commissioning of healthcare services to the Island we work alongside health care professionals from secondary care, public health and the local authority.

The IW CCG was authorised by the NHS Commissioning Board in January 2013 to become a standalone statutory organisation as of the 1st April 2013. The IW CCG is working towards delivering its vision of commissioning high quality, sustainable and integrated services for the Isle of Wight.

IAPT is an NHS programme rolling out services across England offering interventions approved by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) for treating people with depression and anxiety disorders.

[1] Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health, Guidance for commissioners of primary mental health care services (Feb 2013) Available at: http://www.jcpmh.info/wp-content/uploads/jcpmh-primarycare-guide.pdf