Latest NHS Digital figures show 21.5% rise in number of people accessing talking therapies: statistical press release
The number of people accessing talking therapies for conditions such as anxiety and depression through the NHS increased by 21.5% from 2020-21 to 2021-22, a new report shows.
Thepublication provides information on the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme1. This programme is run by the NHS in England and offers NICE-approved therapies for treating people with depression and anxiety.
In 2021-22, 1.24 million referrals accessed IAPT services, compared to 1.02 million in 2020-21, an increase of 21.5%. In 2019-20, 1.17 million referrals accessed therapies through IAPT services.
Yesterday’s publication also shows:
- The overall number of referrals was up 24.5% from 1.46 million in 2020-21 to 1.81 million in 2021-22, higher than pre-pandemic levels of 1.69 million in 2019-2020.
- The number of referrals completing a course of treatment increased by 4.6%, from 634,649 in 2020-21 to 664,087 this year.
- People completing a course of treatment received on average 7.9 sessions in 2021-22, which was up from 7.5 in 2020-21.
- The figures also show 50.2% of referrals moved to recovery2 in 2021-22, down 1.2 percentage points from 51.4% in 2020-21.
The report3 and interactive dashboard also includes:
- waiting times for entering and finishing treatment
- demographic and geographic breakdowns
- trend data for key activity and outcomes
People seek treatment through IAPT services for depression and a range of anxiety disorders such as agoraphobia, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorders, panic disorders and social phobias. Treatments can include therapies like counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and peer support.
Read the full report:4
Also published yesterday was, which shows outpatient activity in English NHS hospitals and NHS-commissioned activity in the independent sector.
Included in the report is the number of outpatient appointments in 2021-22, broken down into patients that attended and did not attend. Further breakdowns of gender and age are also included.
The report also covers:
- First attendances by source of referral
- Figures on the number of cancelled appointments
- Areas of treatment specialities by attendance type
- Main treatment specialities by age and gender
- Interactive provider-level analysis
Read the full report:
Further data published yesterday covers the latest figures on sexual and reproductive health services.
Thereport primarily records contraceptive activity taking place at dedicated Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services in England as collected by the Sexual and Reproductive Health Activity Data set (SRHAD)5.
It provides national, regional, local authority and provider/clinic level analyses.
The report shows:
- a demographic breakdown of service users
- information about the provision of contraception, including emergency contraception, at sexual and reproductive health services6
- the number of vasectomies and sterilisations at both sexual and reproductive health services and NHS hospitals over a ten-year period
Read the full report:7
Notes for Editors
- The IAPT dataset became a nationally mandated data set in April 2012; earlier comparable data are not available.
- Outcome measures, such as recovery, in IAPT are calculated for referrals that finish a course of treatment within the reporting period having started as clinical cases of anxiety or depression. The term "recovery" has a specific meaning in the context of IAPT services. A referral has moved to recovery if they were defined as a clinical case at the start of their treatment and not as a clinical case at the end of treatment. For further information see the ‘Guide to IAPT data and publications’ at
- There was a dataset version change in September 2020 to IAPT version 2.0. Data from the 2021-22 IAPT annual report is based on a full year of IAPT version 2.0. The 2020-21 report includes data from version 1.5 and version 2.0. The change has had no significant impact on the findings.
- All historical IAPT publications can be found at
- The SRHAD does not cover all the ways in which a person may access contraception. It excludes services provided in hospital out-patient clinics and those provided by GPs as well as contraceptives purchased over the counter at a pharmacy or in other retail settings.
- A limited amount of data on the numbers of NHS prescriptions for contraceptives dispensed in the community has been presented in the report, which primarily covers prescriptions from GPs.
- Changes over time in this report may be due to the way people access contraceptive health services rather than changes in contraceptive use.
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