Warrington primary care mental health service moves to meet demand

A NEW purpose-built centre offering psychological therapy services has opened in Warrington to meet an unprecedented increase in demand.

The Warrington Primary Care Psychological Service has moved into new premises at 51 Bewsey Street, Warrington to meet a 49 per cent year-on-year increase in referrals, mainly for face-to-face consultations.

The service, offered in partnership with the Cheshire and Wirral NHS Foundation Trust, provides listening and talking therapies in dedicated suites to people with anxiety and depression.

Launched three years ago in premises at Sankey Street, Warrington, the service, run by Mental Health Matters, has seen staffing increase from 17 to 40.

In its first year of operation, 2011-12, Warrington Primary Care Psychological Service handled 3,440 referrals but in 2013-14 there were 6,800 referrals to the service.

The service is an IAPT registered (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) site.

Service manager Rachel Plant said: “Once new staff were employed and trained to IAPT standards, it became apparent we needed bigger premises to cope with demand.

“Clients expressed concerns about appropriateness of some of the venues from which we provided therapy and in the 2013 staff survey it was identified that our premises were no longer fit for purpose.

“We have listened to clients and staff and moved to brand new purpose-built premises. They are more accessible and more welcoming but, most importantly, they provide the comfortable and confidential therapy suites required to ensure that those who are referred to us receive the very best attention possible in the most appropriate environment”.

“Talking therapies are proven to be as effective as medication, in certain circumstances. We are proud to help people to recover from anxiety and depression, however it has manifested. Since becoming an IAPT site we have helped over 400 people move off sick pay and benefits and back into work.”

To contact Warrington Primary Care Psychological Service, ring 01925 401 720 or visit www.warringtoniapt.org.uk