Postcode Lottery for sufferers of depression and anxiety

Postcode Lottery for sufferers of depression and anxiety

By Catherine Walker

NHS figures show that nearly half of the individuals who suffer from depression and anxiety return to full health after receiving a course of psychological therapy treatment. 

While talking therapy is successful for 42% of people across Britain it is worrying to look at the figures released from a new report.  It would appear that the treatment which you receive and recovery rates vary hugely from one area of Britain to another.

The figures are part of an examination of the NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme.  This programme was launched in 2008 and is being rolled out across England.  Its aim is to reduce the number of people who are unable to work through depression-related conditions.

It shows that with an estimated 6.1 million people suffering from depression and anxiety in Britain, only 2% gained access to treatment during the first quarter of 2011.

The variations of recovery would appear to be dependent on the Primary Care Trust (PCT) which covers the area in which you live.  These variations are highlighted below.

Top 10 PCTS for overcoming depression:

PCT                                 Recovery rate

Sandwell                         66.7%

Gloucestershire               62.8%

Sefton                            62.3%

North Lincolnshire `        61.8%

South East Essex            60.2%

Warrington                     60%

Redbridge                       59.2%

Bromley                          58.7%

North Staffordshire         57.8%

Worst 10 PCTs for overcoming depression:

PCT                                          Recovery Rate

Blackpool                                  5.6%

Hull Teaching                             7%

East Riding of Yorkshire            12%

Halton and St. Helens               15%

Sunderland Teaching                15.8%

Waltham Forest                        24.2%

Birmingham East & North         24.3%

Wiltshire                                   26.8%

East Sussex Downs & Weald     26.9%

Swindon                                   29%



Typically, talking therapies are the first form of NHS treatment for individuals who are suffering with depression.  This form of treatment can be highly successful but we must remember that everyone is different.  For some there is little improvement after their allocated treatment is finished.  For them it is vital that they can access different types of counselling or alternative treatment for as long as they need it or until they reach a full recovery. 

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