Team of therapists to help Sheffield patients suffering from mental and physical ill health

Twenty new psychological therapists are being recruited in a Yorkshire city in a bid to help those experiencing depression or anxiety alongside a long-term physical health condition.

The NHS in Sheffield has been given extra funding to pay for psychological therapists.

The Sheffield Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service has secured extra funding of £1.8m from NHS England to deliver an integrated service for hundreds of patients in the city. Adults with common mental health problems such as anxiety disorders and depression often also have long-term physical conditions such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

NHS officials believe that when mental and physical health problems are treated in an integrated way, patients are more likely to improve.

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The move is part of an expansion of IAPT services which started last year, with a number of locations around the country, such as Calderdale, getting extra funding in the first wave.

In April, NHS England confirmed a second wave of funding, which includes Sheffield, North East Lincolnshire and parts of Derbyshire.

As part of this programme Sheffield will be recruiting 20 new IAPT trainees, whose work will be funded through Health Education England.

Patients will have their mental and physical health conditions treated at the same site, and therapy will be integrated into existing services.

Dr Steve Thomas, of NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group said: “This is a very exciting time for innovation in mental health services.

“As a GP in Sheffield I know how important it is to provide holistic care, providing care to the whole person in partnership with the person themselves.

“IAPT helps to change how people think and what they do to improve their mental health and wellbeing and this can be particularly helpful for people who have a long term physical health problem and who are, for example, at greater risk of mental health problems such as depression.”