According to research by the BBC, during the first half of the year, NHS England’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme (IAPT) has missed targets in 55 of 195 local areas.
In 28 areas, fewer than half of patients were successfully treated during the January to March, and April to June periods, with another 27 areas missing the target in at least one quarter.
The NHS in England is targeted with successfully treating half of the people it sees for conditions like depression and anxiety with therapies such as counselling.
The Head of Policy and Communications for BACP, Suky Kaur, said:
“It is disappointing to see that there are so many people in need of counselling who are not being given a chance to receive the therapy they need. This needs to change. We’ve been working closely with NHS England to increase the use of counselling under the IAPT programme. We have thousands of highly trained counsellors that could be employed to help these people if the service was funded appropriately, and we’ve been working hard to make sure the right people in the NHS know this.”
NHS England says IAPT was one of the most ambitious programmes of its kind in the world and had helped hundreds of thousands of people overcome depression and anxiety.