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Are patients in Kirklees missing out on mental health counselling?

Local NHS missing targets to provide help to patients

Not enough counselling is being provided for patients in Kirklees.

Greater Huddersfield and North Kirklees clinical commissioning groups (CCG) are missing targets for providing talking therapies, new data has revealed.

NHS England’s target for the proportion of people in each area that should be accessing counselling is currently set at 15.8%.

Between October and December 2016, local targets were just 3.95%.

But the access rate at Greater Huddersfield was 3.1% and North Kirklees was just 2.1%.

Meanwhile, Calderdale CCG exceeded the target with an access rate of 4.5%.

A spokesperson for NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG and NHS North Kirklees CCG said: “We are carrying out a high-level review to consider all aspects of the mental health services we commission, including performance, impact, and targets.

“The review is expected to be completed by the autumn and we will be asking service users for their input in helping to shape these services for the future.

“We are committed to ensuring that outcomes for service users are positive and, whilst targets are useful, the patient experience remains our focus.”

The figures were published in NHS England’s quarterly progress update on its Five Year Forward View for Mental Health.

They specifically focus on therapies available through the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme.

The scheme was designed to increase accessibility of talking treatments for people with common mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety disorder.

But 120 out of 209 CCGs in England missed the target, which is set to rise to 25% by 2021.

Sophie Corlett, director of external relations at mental health charity Mind, said: “It’s unacceptable that nearly three in five CCGs are missing their targets when it comes to helping local people receive talking therapy, especially as the target currently only stands at less than 16% of the local population who could potentially benefit from this type of treatment. Failing to meet this target doesn’t bode well, as it will rise to 25% by 2021.

“Mental health services have been woefully underfunded for years. Thanks to anti-stigma campaigns and movements like Heads Together and Times to Change, there’s less of a taboo when it comes to mental health, but as more people come forward and seek help, it’s vital that quality timely services are in place to meet increasing demand.”

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