Mental Health
NHS Services

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you’ll find a series of questions we are often asked.

If the answer you are looking for is not here, please do not hesitate to contact us.

What is VitaMinds and IAPT

VitaMinds is the name of Vita Health Groups NHS Mental Health Psychological Therapies (IAPT) Service.  IAPT is an acronym for Improving Access to Psychological Therapies.  We offer a range of short-term psychological therapies to adults 18 years and over, who are registered with a Basildon and Brentwood GP.

How do I refer to the Basildon and Brentwood VitaMinds (IAPT) service?

You can refer to the service in a number of ways, which can be found here.

Telephone Assessments

Your initial assessment will be with one of our experienced therapists who will assess you over the phone to understand your needs and expectations.  They will then assist in providing advice and guidance about your condition or agree an appropriate next step in your care.  This may be a referral to group therapy, hospital, online CBT or face to face therapy.

You will be called on a date and time agreed with you and will be asked a series of questions by a registered therapist.

What do I need to do before the call?

You will be emailed a link to an online questionnaire.  It’s important to your assessment that this is done at least 2 days before your assessment appointment.  If this has not been completed you will not get the most out of your assessment.

Is there anything else I need to consider?

As the assessment is by phone, please ensure you are in a quiet location where you feel comfortable to answer our questions and engage with your therapist, and that your phone has good signal to receive the call.

Our call may show as a withheld/private number on your phone, so please be prepared to answer if this shows within 15 minutes of your scheduled call time.

What happens next?

Following the assessment, both you and your therapist will decide together what treatment would best suit your needs.  There are several treatment options such as group therapy, online CBT and face to face therapy.  As an NHS IAPT service, we do our utmost to see all our patients for treatment within the NHS guidelines of 18 weeks.  The time you will wait for your treatment to start will depend on the type of treatment agreed for you.

Treatment Appointments

Many of our treatment appointments are carried out by telephone.  Please ensure you are in a quiet location where you feel comfortable to answer our questions and engage with your therapist.

Our call may show as a withheld/private number on your phone, so please be prepared to answer if this shows within 15 minutes of your scheduled call time.

For appointments taking place at one of our clinics, please arrive in good time for your appointment, further information on our locations can be found here.

What if I am in urgent need of help?

We are not an emergency service and are not able to help with immediate crisis situations. If you need immediate help please go to the Accident and Emergency Department of your local hospital (24hrs) or request an ambulance.  Alternatively, if you’re experiencing a crisis and need a person talk things through with, you can  contact  the Samaritans on 116 123 or search for Crisis Teams in your area online. Please remember to inform your GP if you have obtained emergency assistance.

What if English is not my first language?

If you do not feel comfortable conversing in English, a telephone interpreter can be provided for your sessions. We will organise this for you with the cost covered by the NHS.  Please notify our team in advance of your appointment if an interpreter is required.

What if I need to cancel?

We understand it can sometimes be unavoidable to cancel your appointment and these circumstances will always be considered if you inform us that you are unable to attend. The aim of our policy is to ensure our waiting times are kept to a minimum to benefit all our patients.

Assessments:

  • On the first occasion that we are unable to contact you, you will be able to book a second appointment if done so within 1 week.
  • If you do not contact us within 7 days, we will assume you no longer require assessment or treatment with us and will discharge you from our service.
  • If you fail to attend 2 telephone assessments you will be immediately discharged from our service.

Treatment Appointments

  • If you fail to attend your first treatment appointment you will be discharged from our service
  • If you cancel any appointments with less than 24 hours’ notice, more than once, you will be discharged to your GP.
  • Frequently cancelling your appointments with more than 24 hours’ notice may also lead to discharge back to your GP.

Our cancellation policy is intended to avoid unnecessary loss of appointments which can lead to increased waiting times

What if I am running late?

If you are running late for a face to face appointment, please contact us so that we can inform the therapist of an estimated time.  To ensure you are given sufficient time in your appointment you may be asked to reschedule to another day and time.

For telephone assessments, our therapists will try to contact you 3 times, if you miss the 3rd call please contact us to re-arrange your assessment.

Consent to Treatment

Your therapist will explain to you on your first session the process of therapy and the treatment protocol you have been triaged for. The therapist will discuss confidentiality, our discharge and attendance policy and there will be time for you to voice any questions regarding these.  You can choose to consent or decline a treatment if you so wish.

Consent to manage your appointments

We can only discuss your appointments with you, this includes cancelling of appointments. If you are happy for someone else to manage your appointments on your behalf then please notify the therapist during your telephone assessment.

Will my information be shared with anyone else?

We have a legal duty to keep your information confidential. We share information about you with other healthcare providers to give you the best possible care. If you would not like your information shared with your GP or other healthcare providers, please tell the therapist during your telephone assessment. We cannot give other organisations information without your consent, this might include housing departments, education services or your employer. This also includes if a family member contacts us on your behalf.

There might be a legal reason for us to share information about you however, for example if a child is at risk. In such situations, we must, by law, share information with other organisations.

I am still worried about someone seeing my details?

If you are still worried about your information being seen by someone else, we can also offer a pseudonym so that you can be known by a different name during your time with our service. To enquire about this, please contact our team.

Safeguarding Statement

Vita Health Group is committed to safeguarding all vulnerable patients who access our services. We  work together with our partner organisations to safeguard vulnerable adults and children from all forms of abuse, neglect and exploitation. In line with Care Quality Commission (CQC), Fundamental Standards 2015, people who use services will be protected from abuse, or the risk of abuse, and their human rights respected and upheld.

If you would like to bring a supportive person to your initial session, please inform administration of this in advance of your appointment.

How do I contact you and when are you open?

Contact us on:
Phone Number: 01268 977 171
E-mail Address: refer@vhg.co.uk

Our phone lines are open:
Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm
Saturday 9.30am to 12.30pm
Sunday Closed

All our clinics opening hours vary – please contact us for further information.