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IAPT services to close

22nd November 2010

NHS trusts in Birmingham are shutting down some Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) centres because of financial cuts.

depression

Centres offering the IAPT programme are to be closed even though the health secretary Andrew Lansley promised six months ago that the programme would be expanded.

The IAPT projects offer 'talking therapies' to people who suffer from anxiety and depression.

Three primary care trusts in the city have said they will decommission the projects. Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust said all IAPT employees were in danger of being made redundant.

The three trusts said they would decommission services from 31 March 2011 and would substantially scale back future investments.

A letter to staff from Jonathan Lloyd, director of strategic delivery at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust, warned all workers involved in the IAPT that their positions were in danger.

Dr Robert Morley, executive secretary of Birmingham LMC, said the cuts would damage mental health services and leave GPs with the consequences.

"I have also been told that GPs have been consulted about these changes, which is utter nonsense," he said.



"The clear truth is that funding for the service is drastically being cut and it goes without saying that they will just expect general practice to pick up the burden."


A spokesperson for Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust said: "Funding is due to expire on 31 March 2011, and in the absence of any extra funding, commissioners have now asked [the mental health trust] to redesign our £5 million existing primary care mental health service to integrate this approach."

 

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