The original New Savoy Declaration was issued in 2007. Over 60 organizations from across the UK welcomed the first ever commitment by any government to enable universal access for anyone with depression and anxiety to NHS-funded psychological therapies. The (then) National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) also endorsed our Declaration.
We campaigned for universal access alongside the We Need To Talk coalition. Lord Layard and Jeremy Clarke lobbied the Treasury and Cabinet Office directly. In 2008 we were delighted when Alan Johnson, as Health Secretary, announced £300M funding for a national program, Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT). The Department of Health’s Statement of Intent, after consultation with the New Savoy Partnership, committed government to offer to a choice of the person’s preferred, evidence-based therapy as IAPT services matured. In 2010, thanks to lobbying led by Mind, the new Coalition announced a further £400M for IAPT. Norman Lamb, as Care Minister, put in place new waiting times standards of 6 weeks from referral to treatment. Finally, in 2015, Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, announced at the New Savoy conference a national advisory group that would oversee progress on choice: Action for Choice in Psychological Therapies.
The Declaration was reissued in 2012 to reflect the wider scope of our successful campaign to persuade government to extend access and choice to everyone, children and young people and older people, as well as people across the spectrum of mental health problems. The Declaration extends to devolved health administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Whilst there is still a long way to go to achieve its full objectives, the Declaration’s impact represents one of the most successful initiatives of its kind worldwide.
Where are we now? The current government has announced a further £600M investment in psychological therapies. The Mental Health Task Force’s 5 Year-Plan states: “Every person with a mental health problem should be able to say: I have a choice of talking therapy so that I can find one appropriate to me”. For IAPT services to be able to achieve this by 2020 we know that there are large gaps in their existing workforce to offer three therapies in particular: Interpersonal Therapy; Couples Therapy and Brief Dynamic Therapy, as well as significant under-funding for training in Counselling for Depression at High Intensity in IAPT. We now need to monitor what choice is being offered by individual services and report on how many people are then able to take up and complete their preferred choice of therapy.
There remain unacceptably long waiting times to access therapy for children and young people, older people, and anyone who has psychosis, bi-polar or personality disorder. Sadly, neither lobbying by We Need to Talk in 2015, or the recent Mental Health Task Force recommendations, place any legal requirement on the NHS to offer NICE-approved therapies in the same way they are required to provide NICE-approved drug treatments. Our core task, therefore, remains to find other ways and means to secure universal choice.
Founding Chair, New Savoy
New Savoy Declaration 2007
We believe that psychological therapies should be
freely available on the NHS to the people who need
them at the time when they need them and where they
Psychological therapies can help people of all ages and
all backgrounds to recover and stay well, children and
adults alike, across a range of mental health problems.
However, in contrast to most treatments for physical
health, people in the UK still do not have timely access to approved and evidence-based psychological therapies on a universal basis, despite clear guidance and compelling evidence of their benefits.
We call on the UK and devolved Governments to ensure
that people of all ages across the UK have access to a
comprehensive choice of cost-effective psychological
therapies close to home in a timely manner.
We commit to working together to support the NHS
to build up integrated and high quality psychological
therapy provision. Together, we will strive to make
these services safe, effective and successful in
improving mental wellbeing, reducing stigma and health
inequalities, and making the United Kingdom a world
leader in psychological therapies.”
Paul Burstow MP, Care Services Minister
Speeches to New Savoy conferences 2010 & 2011
By 2015 every patient in the country should be able to get timely access and real choice of proven psychological therapies. CBT has helped to get us on the road. Now we'll invest the money and work with the local NHS to up-skill staff in counselling, interpersonal therapy, brief dynamic therapy and couples therapy.
What's been doubly welcome are the positive steps that organisations in the New Savoy Partnership have taken to solve some of the problems we face. Like the e-mental health applications it's developing that help expand the number of people who can be treated. And improving the research base into the effectiveness of different psychological therapies.
26th February 2008
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