Johnson floats plan to add CBT to quality framework

GPs to boost access to psychological therapies.

The use of psychological therapies could be added to the quality framework in an attempt to boost their uptake, according to the health secretary.

At the Psychological Therapies in the NHS conference in London last week, Alan Johnson said GPs should be encouraged to prescribe therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for mental health problems.

He was responding to concerns that GPs were being bypassed in the roll-out of the DoH's Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme for PCTs in England.

Dr Chris Manning, founder of charity Primary Care Mental Health and Education, said: 'There are concerns that GPs are not being involved enough.'

But Mr Johnson replied: 'We recognise the need to get GPs involved. We can do it through the discussions we have with the BMA on the things that we put into the quality framework.'

The issue could also be addressed through training and education, he added.

Dr Alan Cohen, the IAPT programme's national primary care adviser for England, said: 'GPs are becoming more involved. Psychological therapies could be added to the quality framework.'

Better training could help GPs refer appropriately, he added.

Angela Greatley, chief executive of the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, backed plans to work with primary care to boost access to CBT.

'Family doctors hold the key to managing depression and anxiety,' she said.

Meanwhile, a study in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found group-based CBT was more effective than antidepressants in stopping relapses in patients with long-term depression.

Comment below and tell us what you think

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Just published

Medical centre sign

One in three GP practices in Northern Ireland faced serious closure risk in past 18 months

One in three GP practices in Northern Ireland have faced a serious risk of closure...

BMA sign

BMA warns Treasury 'many practices' will close without emergency financial support

GP leaders have urged the Treasury to agree emergency funding to support general...


Practices can use £172m PCN cash to support staff pay rises, GP leaders say

Practices can use their share of Β£172m from the 2023/24 investment and impact fund...

GP typing at computer

EMIS apologises for 'human error' that caused major GP IT system crash

EMIS has apologised to GP practices hit by a major system failure that left them...

GP consultation

GP practices delivering 10% more appointments per day compared with 2019

GP practices in England delivered 10% more appointments per working day in the first...

computer and stethoscope

Major IT system outage heaps pressure on GPs over bank holiday

A major IT system failure that left GPs across England unable to access patient records...