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New talking therapies provider announced for Cornwall and Isles of Scilly

Outlook Talking Therapies

Access to NHS services that support people with mild to moderate anxiety and depression will be made easier following the award of a new contract to Outlook South West.

NHS Kernow, the clinical commissioner for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, is pleased to announce the new partnership following a formal process to tender for a new contract to improve the way services are delivered. The new service will begin from 1 April 2017 when the existing Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) contract ends on 31 March 2017.

Outlook South West, which has around 20 years’ experience of providing NHS counselling services across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, will provide a range of evidence-based psychological therapies ranging from traditional counselling services and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to the very latest treatments including web-based support and one-to-one sessions via video link.

During 2015/16, 15,046 referrals were made to IAPT from people looking for support to help treat and manage conditions such as depression, anxiety and stress. People can access NHS sessions by either self-referring themselves or being referred by their GP.

At the moment people can access IAPT from BEME and Outlook South West under the Any Qualified Provider contract, which was brought in by the Government to increase competition but has resulted in the CCG managing two contracts for the same service. NHS Kernow has used the end of this contract as an opportunity to improve the way people access support by removing the confusion of multiple providers.

People in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly will still continue to receive the same high levels of clinical support as before as Outlook South West will provide the same volume and quality of the two providers.  

NHS Kernow Governing Body member and lead clinician for mental health Dr Paul Cook said “We are really pleased to announce our continued partnership with Outlook South West to provide high-quality services that support people’s mental health.

“Supporting people to have good mental health and manage their conditions is of vital importance – there is no good health without mental health. We want to support people from reaching a mental health crisis and services such as IAPT arm people with practical skills and coping mechanisms to help them manage mild to moderate depression and anxiety.

“We are really excited about Outlook South West’s vision to help us increase people’s access to IAPT services to support their mental health and get them recover and get back to their self.”

Kevin Simpson, Director at Outlook South West said: “We are really pleased to be given the opportunity to consolidate the work we have already begun in bringing talking therapies to adults in Cornwall. Stress, anxiety and depression are increasingly prevalent in our modern lifestyle. One in six people will be affected at any one time. We want to make a difference in giving people the knowledge and skills to take care of themselves and increase their resilience in dealing with these increasingly common conditions.”

Notes to editors:

The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme began in 2008 and has transformed treatment of adult anxiety disorders and depression in England. More than 900,000 people now access IAPT services each year, and the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health committed to expanding services further, alongside improving quality.

IAPT services provide evidence-based treatments for people with anxiety and depression (implementing NICE guidelines).

IAPT services are characterised by three things:

1.     Evidenced based psychological therapies: with the therapy delivered by fully trained and accredited practitioners, matched to the mental health problem and its intensity and duration designed to optimize outcomes.

2.     Routine outcome monitoring: so that the person having therapy and the clinician offering it have up-to-date information on an individual’s progress. This supports the development of a positive and shared approach to the goals of therapy and as this data is anonymized and published this promotes transparency in service performance encouraging improvement.

3.     Regular and outcomes focused supervision so practitioners are supported to continuously improve and deliver high quality care.


The contract for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is £4.3 million for three years.