18 November 2015
Our Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service in Islington, locally branded as iCope, was highly commended for Innovation in Mental Health and Primary Care in The National Positive Practice in Mental Health Awards 2015.
iCope provide psychological interventions and therapies for people with common mental health problems, such as anxiety disorders and depression within Islington GP practices and community settings. The team aim to ensure all patients receive a high level of professional, person-centred care and support, and continually strive to improve patient experience of the service.
In the last year more than 21,000 people have been referred to the service. One patient commented, “My therapist guaranteed a safe and trusting environment throughout our sessions. She diligently explored every available resource for my benefit.”
The service was recognised for their commitment to partnerships between patients and professionals and the work to promote service user involvement. For example, at the end of treatment clinicians invite patients to provide anonymous feedback through the iCope Client Satisfaction Questionnaire. They are also invited to attend Service User Advisory groups run by managers and clinical leads. During these sessions the views, voices and opinions of the people who use the service are heard and these discussions are used to make sustainable changes to improve the service. Those who have attended these groups have reported that they found them “productive, enjoyable and worthwhile” and felt their ideas were taken on board.
Through joining our Advisory Group, or by expressing an interest in future opportunities for involvement, service users have had the opportunity to promote positive mental health in many different ways. Service User representatives have been involved in research trials, played an active part in our Team Away Days, helped with training for NHS Graduate Trainees and become involved in local projects such as ‘Mental Health Champions’.
In addition, iCope clinicians also frequently share ‘successful stories’ when they have completed a good piece of work with a client where they may have overcome barriers and the patient really benefitted from treatment. Staff have reported that sharing patient feedback is useful in terms of learning from service-users and other clinicians, and perhaps most importantly makes them feel good about the work that we do together with patients within iCope.