Dr Paul G. Campbell, Lead Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Clinical Lead for IAPT, Merseycare NHS Foundation Trust & Northwest Coast Clinical Network (NHS England) & Toby Sweet, Chief Executive, Sunderland Counselling Service
In 2021, the North East & North West Branches of the Psychological Professions Network agreed to host a joint leadership and innovation forum open to all staff , service users and leaders of Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services across the north. The theme for this event was, “IAPT, COVID-19 & Beyond”.
We were lucky to have, as our keynote speakers, Professor David Clark and Hayley Matthews from the National IAPT team, Elham Afzal from the Independent Mental Health Network and Alisdair Cameron from ReCoCo.
The keynote speakers told the conference about how IAPT services performed during the COVID-19 pandemic and also about how service users have experienced IAPT services during this time.
The conference then broke out into separate online facilitated workshops looking at various aspects of service delivery including Choice, Workforce, Access, Clinical Delivery and Transformation.
Based on the feedback from these workshops a shortlist of important themes was compiled. The conference attendees were then asked to vote for their top five themes with regard to what we, as a professional network, need to focus on over the next couple of years when delivering IAPT services.
Based on the results of this poll we have developed a consensus statement on what we, as services, managers and clinicians, should focus on over the next year was written as follows:
“We will strive to ensure we have appropriately funded, compassionately led and well-integrated IAPT services that have excellence and staff wellbeing at their core”.
We plan to hold another joint event for IAPT services working across the north of the country in February 2022 which will give us all the chance to come together again and review how we have been meeting that objective. We hope to see you there. In the meantime, we urge you all to get involved with your local PPN as a way of gaining support for your professional activities.
Access the Slido wordcloud which summarises the feedback from the day here.