Sheffield physical health and psychological wellbeing: IAPT project

Project Lead | Moira Leahy  | Collaborators: Thomas Ricketts, Steve Kellett, Steve Haigh, Paula Crosby, Toni Mank, Michael Barkham, Caroline Mitchell, Rachel Smith, Wesley Vernon, Jo Cooke, Rachel Warner, Fiona Goudie, Deborah Gamsu

Training physical health practitioners in mental health skills is a national priority identified in Closing the Gap (2013). IAPT is a national NHS programme rolling out services across England offering NICE approved interventions for people with anxiety and depression. Extending access to IAPT services is a local, regional and national priority. There is increasing recognition of the need to challenge the historical split between physical and mental health services, if truly holistic, person-centred care is to be delivered.

Sheffield is the site of a ground breaking Yorkshire and Humber Health Education (LETB) regional project testing an innovative way of integrating the delivery of physical health and mental health services. We are doing this by seconding physical health practitioners to undertake the training and qualify as IAPT Psychological Well Being Practitioners (PWPs).

The project is working under the umbrella of Sheffield Right First Time.

Project Aims:

1. To test whether this model improves access to talking therapies for people with physical health problems who also have common mental health problems

2. To explore the contribution of IAPT PWP intervention skills to the facilitation of self-management in people with long term conditions/physical health problems

3. To assess the implications of dual training practitioners for pre and post registration training going forward.

Phase One: October 2012 to September 2014

By September 2014, we have twelve dual trained practitioners. Our project experience thus far has indicated that equipping physical health practitioners with IAPT PWP skills has huge potential to deliver truly integrated and holistic interventions that improve patient experience and outcomes; increase detection of and access to treatment for common mental health problems; increase engagement and support people to self-manage their health condition; make cost savings; and enhance practitioner satisfaction.

Phase Two: October 2014 – March 2015
To enable and support dual trained practitioners to test out delivery of integrated, holistic health care. (NB. Where possible, integrated delivery is being tested within core physical health roles and seconding teams. Where necessary, testing is being undertaken via protected, backfilled time).

Design and methodology
A mixed method approach will be taken to evaluation that enables identification of processes and outcomes related to the initiative. This approach will include the following elements: 
  • Capturing dual trained practitioner learning and experience
  • Stakeholder feedback
  • Audit of patient reported outcomes and experience