Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT)

Improving access to talking therapies in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

Whether you’re depressed, stressed, anxious or dealing with any one of a wide range of common psychological and emotional issues, the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT service is available to help.

IAPT services offer support that gets the best results and helps you to help yourself, so that you can get back to enjoying life and engaging with work or daily activities. Everyone’s psychological and emotional issues differ and therefore various levels of support are needed.

This service has transferred to a new provider

From 1 September 2019, a new provider began delivering the IAPT service in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

Vita Health began running the service from 1 September 2019. Vita Health is an award-winning specialist provider of Mental and Physical Health Services. Their aim is to provide accessible, transparent, high quality care, and engagement with the community is at its core. More information on Vita Health can be found under the ‘organisations that we work with’ heading below.

For those currently accessing IAPT services

Vita Health is working with current IAPT providers, service users and voluntary sector organisations within the area to make sure that the service continues to meet your needs. We would like to reassure you that the care you are receiving will continue with as minimal disruption as possible.

As part of the transfer, from 1 September 2019, Vita Health will have access to your personal information held on your medical record if you are currently accessing IAPT services. They will also have the right to request access to your previous episodes of care so they know your history. Your data will not be shared with anyone other than the new service provider.

This only applies to those currently accessing an IAPT service, if you have been seen by the service and have already been discharged, your information will not be passed to Vita Health.

Making positive changes

Understanding all this can help people make positive changes by thinking or acting differently. Talking therapies can help people to take greater control of their lives and improve their confidence.

What this service can offer

This service is for anyone over the age of 16 who is registered with a GP in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

We are able to offer a wide range of therapies and treatments for a range of issues, including:

  • depression
  • anxiety/panic
  • work related stress
  • obsessions and compulsions
  • post traumatic stress
  • anger difficulties
  • relationship difficulties
  • sexual abuse/rape
  • loss/bereavement
  • long-term health conditions.

You can refer yourself or your GP can refer you.

Organisations that we work with

IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) programmes aim to treat people by using the least intrusive method of treatment first time, sometimes called a stepped approach.

Some people may need a short course of “low intensity” therapy to help them, while others may need something a little more intensive, “high intensity”.

IAPT programmes offer a range of group and 1:1 therapies at both low and high intensity. In Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire these are delivered by Vita Health Group.

Developing IAPT services

We want to provide a more ‘holistic’ IAPT service across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, that considers the causes as well as the symptoms of people’s mental health problems and continues to provide high-quality care that meets people’s needs.

The result of this work is a new ‘service specification’ setting out our ambitions for local IAPT services. The new service, covering all of Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, began on 1 September 2019.

The new service is provided by Vita Health Group, working with partners throughout our area. Vita is an established and professionally accredited provider of psychological therapies services which already provides IAPT services to NHS organisations in other parts of England and Wales.

You can read more about local IAPT service developments in our Frequently Asked Questions document.