Mental Health
NHS Services

GP and Professional Referral

Guidance on referrals to the VitaMinds Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service in Basildon and Brentwood:

The service provides NICE recommended treatments for people who:

  • are over the age of 18 years;
  • are registered with a GP in the Basildon and Brentwood area;
  • are experiencing common mental health problems.

The IAPT Service provides a stepped care model ensuring patients receive the least intensive treatment in order to promote a reliable improvement.

The IAPT Service is not suitable for people assessed with significant risks. The service is suitable for patients where the likelihood of acting out is very low and the impact would be minor, not requiring medical intervention. Examples include patients who have suicidal ideation but with no plans or intent, and patients who may superficially cut or scratch but not requiring medical intervention. With regards to safeguarding issues, the patients illness would have only very mild impact, if any, on the safety or wellbeing of others.

Referrals appropriate to service include:

  • Mild to moderate and moderate to severe depression
  • Panic disorder
  • Social anxiety
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • People presenting with common mental disorders of low to very severe severity but non-psychotic by nature. These will be people classified in clusters 1, 2, 3 (and higher non-psychotic clusters dependent on clinical assessment)
  • Generalised anxiety disorder
  • Health anxiety
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Specific phobias

The service does not accept referrals for patients whose primary issues are:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Personality disorder
  • Obvious signs of psychosis
  • Organic disorders of the brain
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Anger management
  • Substance misuse
  • Posing a high risk* to themselves or others, at crisis due to psychosis, those with pre-existing diagnoses of acute mental illnesses and dementia crisis

*high risk refers to patient’s acutely unwell requiring secondary Mental Health Services for whom it is expected the service should refer onwards and not send back to primary care.

People with moderate or severe impairment of cognitive function e.g. severe learning disabilities or dementia would not be suitably or appropriately supported by the service.

If in doubt regarding appropriateness of referral please discuss with IAPT Team Manager or Clinical Lead – info@vhg.co.uk.

We provide the following Interventions, as recommended by NICE:

Low intensity interventions: provided by a psychological wellbeing practitioner

  • Guided self help
  • Depression group
  • Facilitated self help via Computerised Cognitive behavioural Therapy (CCBT)
  • Behavioural activation
  • Anxiety group
  • Telephone-based individual treatments

High intensity interventions: provided by CBT therapists and IAPT compliant counsellors as recommended by NICE

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Eye Movement, Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Counselling for depression
  • CBT couples
  • Mindfulness
  • Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)

We provide depression and anxiety treatment groups at step 3 and one to one telephone and face to face treatments.

Referral Process

The IAPT services accepts self-referrals, GP and other health professional referrals for patients experiencing a common mental health problem, who wish to engage with a talking therapies intervention.

If you are a GP or healthcare professional wishing to make a referral on behalf of your patient you can do so by completing the Assisted Referral form  here.

We will contact the patient and arrange an assessment.

With the patient’s consent, we will inform you of the outcome of their assessment and at the point of completed treatment.

If at any point we need to escalate the patient to Step 4, Secondary Care services, we will facilitate this referral and inform you of the actions we have taken. We will also inform you if the individual has dropped out of the service or chooses not to pursue treatment.

IAPT measures

The IAPT Services have a number of tools that are useful to measure clinical and work and social functioning outcomes. The most common IAPT measures used are:

  • Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ9) for depression on a score of 10 or above out of 27 suggest the person meets caseness and is experiencing symptoms of depression
  • We also use a range of disorder specific measurements and functioning tools as recommended by NICE
  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder Assessment (GAD7) on a score of 8 or above out of 21 suggests the person meets caseness and is experiencing symptoms of significant anxiety

GP programme

We have a dedicated Partnership Liaison Officer/s. This role is to ensure that pathways between services are seamless and that your queries about the service can be answered swiftly.

We will be working on a rolling GP programme for each of your practices to keep you up to date on the events within the service, how to screen and detect early signs of mental ill health and when to refer. More information will follow on this shortly. If you would like to get in touch with any questions, please email us at: info@vhg.co.uk.