The Covid-19 pandemic has catapulted many of us into the digital realm in order to continue to work and stay connected whilst social distancing to protect the NHS.
One area where an increased focus on digital solutions may lead to significant positive outcomes for individuals is in the provision of talking therapies, including meeting the expected rise in demand for common mental health services such as Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) due to the Coronavirus.
The evidence base for online psychotherapy is well established and a number of suppliers in the current market have developed delivery models that use ‘ePlatforms’ to provide digitally enabled therapies. CCGs and IAPT providers are increasingly partnering with digital providers within and outside the NHS to deliver a digital therapy option as part of their IAPT service offer.
Digitally enabled therapies can be delivered securely online through ‘device agnostic’ platforms and can include ‘computerised CBT’, virtual therapy rooms, live video consultations, instant messaging and web-based applications. The benefits of digital delivery include;
- Increased accessibility as therapy sessions can much more easily be provided outside core hours
- Improved self-management where patients have 24/7 access to a range of online tools and interactive programmes
- Better outcomes for people who find it more comfortable or convenient to access therapy online than in a clinic
- Improved performance against the IAPT access targets as capacity is increased
- Addressing workforce challenges with a more flexible offer for staff including working remotely and at times that suit them
Attain have the skills and experience to support commissioners and providers with the development of a digital IAPT offer in terms of strategy, clinical design and workforce modelling, as well as navigation of the procurement rules and regulations as they change in response to Brexit. We can also help identify appropriate ways to either modify existing IAPT contracts or implement new strategies with extreme urgency to respond to the Covid-19 situation. If you’d like more information about our support offer, contact Marie Watkins on firstname.lastname@example.org
The role of digital in health service delivery is increasing more rapidly than we could have ever imagined and we can not only support those rapid developments but also make sure that they are the right ones to deliver longer terms benefits for staff and patients.