In 2007, the government issued its first ever commitment to enable universal access for anyone with depression and anxiety to NHS-funded psychological therapies. The then Health Secretary, Alan Johnson, announced funding for a national programme, which has since been well underway.
So how has the government investment in the mental health of our nation fared? Have we seen improved access? To whom and for what conditions? What have been the measurable outcomes?
Such questions will set the agenda for the annual New Savoy Partnership Conference, entitled Psychological Therapies in the NHS: Re-thinking Psychological Therapies in the new NHS.to be held at the Mermaid Conference Centre in London on Thursday 28 and Friday 29 November.
British Psychological Society Fellow, Professor Michael Barkham, will present the results of the Second National Audit of Psychological Therapies with Professor Mike Crawford and Dr Lorna Farquharson in the conference's opening keynote. Other speakers will include Norman Lamb, the Health Minister and the NHS England's National Clinical Director for Mental Health, Dr Geraldine Strathdee.
The New Savoy Partnership is a group of organisations whose aim is to bring psychological therapies to the NHS and improve access to those who need them in a timely and appropriate manner. Its annual conference aims to break new ground in policy development and present the latest findings and ongoing developments in evidence-based mental health practice.
This year's presentation of top line results from the Second National Audit promises to provide an invaluable insight into the health of NHS service provision and shed further light on the positive trends seen in the First National Audit. An excerpt from the conference promotional programme reads:
"If this event has gained a reputation for anything, it is for giving delegates the opportunity to challenge and engage with ministers, policy makers and decision-makers so they know directly from the people on the front line what doesn't work."
Fighting words then. If you'd like to have your say or find out more about the event, you can book your place and/or download the programme here.
Written by Jacqui Hogan