Rosie Winterton promises roll out of talking therapies

The Department of Health will expand its trial of talking therapies – currently being piloted in two areas – this year and in 2008, health minister Rosie Winterton told a parliamentary debate yesterday.

She said that the DH would trial the therapies in ten more sites in 2007 and roll them further next year. The therapies are currently being trialled in Newham, east London and Doncaster, and Winterton said they had seen 4,000 people already.

They are designed to test the theory, promoted by Labour peer Lord Layard, that psychological therapies will help people with common mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety, return or remain in work.

However, the therapies have long been advocated by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in guidance, but this has not been widely followed by health services due to a lack of resources.

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