Lack of CBT is preventing implementation of NICE guidance, MPs warn

Lack of access to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and funding shortfalls are preventing mental health trusts from implementing NICE guidance, MPs have warned.

The All-Party Group on Mental Health asked mental health trusts about their implementation of the institute's guidance on schizophrenia.

Almost all trusts (94%) said they had met obstacles offering psychological therapies, the group said in a report.

‘The recommendations on psychological therapies, and particularly CBT, are the cause of most concern,' the report said. ‘The inability to supply these therapies in sufficient quantities and to an appropriate standard is an important and worrying issue.

‘These difficulties are not limited to funding issues, although funding does play a key part in these problems, the MPs said. There were also issues around recruiting sufficient staff and training existing staff to an adequate standard, the MPs concluded.

‘These problems are made all the more challenging, trusts pointed out, by the emphasis of many other NICE guidelines on mental health conditions to provide therapies like CBT.'

Trusts expressed, the report said, ‘a sense of regret that limited funds mean that full implementation was often a long way off and may even seem to be an unrealistic endeavour.'

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