Long Term Conditions and Medically Unexplained Symptoms

Two thirds of people with a long term physical health condition also have a co-morbid mental health problem, mostly anxiety and depression. In addition, up to 70% of people with Medically Unexplained Symptoms also have depression and/or anxiety disorders. These common mental health disorders are detectable and treatable

As set out in Implementing the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health the expansion of Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services will focus on people with long term conditions or medically unexplained symptoms. New psychological therapy provision will see physical and mental health care provision co-located. Therapy will be integrated into existing medical pathways and services – either primary care, or secondary care services (eg diabetes, cardiac, respiratory).

A consensus statement has been developed by national clinical leaders setting out the key characteristics of integrated IAPT services. NHS England is working to support new services.