MP praises the success of Beating the Blues in Doncaster

On Friday 19th March Doncaster MP Rosie Winterton visited her local IAPT site to see how Beating the Blues is used in practice.



NHS Doncaster, which has pioneered the government's Improving Access to Psychological initiative, was visited (March 19, 2010) by local MP Rosie Winterton to see how an online programme called Beating the Blues is changing lives.

Beating the Blues was first recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in 2006 for use in every primary care trust (PCT) to help improve access to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

In treating a range of common mental health problems, CBT is the most proven form of therapy and offering it online means that people can access it at times and venues of their choice whilst still being supported by local services.

More than 900 people in Doncaster have used the program in the past two years and Dawn White, Primary Care Mental Healthcare Manager at Doncaster Community Healthcare, said: "We have integrated Beating the Blues into the range of services we offer and are delighted at the clinical outcomes we see from the programme."

"People who use it find it very beneficial and with the support of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) practitioners, many improve and their symptoms of depression and anxiety are reduced, which increases general well-being and progress to recovery."

"Helping people to develop coping strategies and gain access to the right help at the right time is a core part of what the IAPT service delivers."

"Beating the Blues enables people to develop skills and techniques to manage their depression. People have a choice of either using Beating the Blues as a self directed therapy programme enabling the minimum of clinical intervention, or they can access additional support by a Psychological Well-being Practitioner."

Praising the work of the local services, Rosie Winterton MP said: ??NHS Doncaster continues to deliver outstanding clinical outcomes and demonstrates the value of investing in local IAPT services.

"What I have heard from our local services is that Computerised CBT programs, such as Beating the Blues, helps them to offer increased access and offer choice to their patients."

"The integrated approach by Doncaster IAPT shows that by providing rapid access to appropriate services we can treat people in a cost effective way and support their recovery."

John Smith, executive director at Ultrasis, the company that developed Beating the Blues in partnership with the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London, was also present at the Doncaster IAPT meeting.

He said: "The IAPT Services provided by NHS Doncaster ensure that patients receive the most appropriate care for their needs and that they are supported through the process by highly skilled and competent staff."

"Beating the Blues is a cost effective option for treating mild and moderate depression, the recent depression guidelines published by NICE in October 2009, reinforces the role that Computerised CBT has to offer as a first line intervention."

"In 2005, as Minister for Health, Rosie Winterton championed the use of CCBT and it was a great pleasure to hear firsthand how Beating the Blues was helping to delivering such positive clinical outcomes within her local constituency."

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