The IAPT Survey Results
Talking about IAPT should come with a health warning. Whether you’re a therapist, a service user or just an MP on the campaign trail really talking about mental health services involves opening up a Pandora’s box with all the professional and personal consequences this entails.
So it is with the following qualifier that we’re showing here the results of the IAPT Survey carried out in preparation for the discussion on BBC5Live in November 2019 about what’s happening in services.
We do not underestimate the heroic and kind efforts of people working in IAPT or the noble ambitions of the service to deliver care to more people. IAPT services are patchy, diverse and often providing genuine care. We do however want to talk about how IAPT has become downgraded as a talking therapy and pay attention to the clear concerns being voiced now about the gaming of recovery data. It’s time to talk about IAPT.
Here is a summary of what 650 current and past IAPT workers told us about services in answer to the 8 questions we asked them. If you click onto the infographic you can download as a PDF.
Although nobody here said that they felt that the IAPT service was adequate, many people said that they did their best to provide good care.
The combination of 69% feeling they are providing good care and the highest rates of burnout I’ve ever seen should be the subject of whole libraries. We have to understand the reasons why so many people with good intentions are still working within an inadequate service and the consequences of that.
It should be unnecessary to point out that to have a debate about this we have to let people talk, to listen and look reality in the face. Although the box has now been opened in part due to the anonymity afforded on social media and online surveys, financial and political interests are at play and an attempt to shut down debate and dismiss experience as negativity has shifted into gear.
In this debate two things matter. Data and the experience of navigating IAPT right now. I am firmly of the view that if you’re not living it right now you don’t understand what is happening to mental health services so it is our job to inform the people who design policy and political party manifestos about the NHS about what is really happening.
To read the series of blogs produced to further the debate about the future of IAPT go here.