What is the National Audit of Psychological
The National Audit of Psychological Therapies for Anxiety and
Depression (NAPT) aims to promote access, appropriateness,
acceptability and positive outcomes of treatment for those
suffering from depression and anxiety. The audit is open to all
NHS-funded services in England and Wales providing psychological
therapies in the community for people with anxiety and depression.
It includes adults over the age of 18 who are receiving
psychological therapy services in the community. The audit is
working with both IAPT and non-IAPT sites.
It engages healthcare professionals in a systematic evaluation
of their clinical practice against standards for best practice.
Local services are able to benchmark their performance and identify
where they are performing well, and where there is potential to
improve the quality of treatment and care they provide. Services
are also encouraged to engage in action planning to improve their
practice or maintain existing good practice. On a national level,
wide participation in the audit also creates an overview of the
quality of care being provided in England and Wales.
The National Audit of Psychological Therapies is funded by the
Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) and is an
initiative of the College Centre for Quality Improvement (CCQI).
The project is part of the National Clinical Audit programme and
trusts are required by the Department of Health to report their
participation in the audit in their Quality Account.
Why focus on Psychological Therapies?
The importance of the provision of
psychological therapy services has received increasing attention
over recent years and continues to do so. Some of the most
significant factors to have influenced policy over the past decade
- Concerns about access to services
- Recommendations from the National Institute of Health and
Clinical Excellence (NICE) on the use of evidence-based
- The economic argument for improved access (the ‘Layard
- The development of the Improving Access to Psychological
Therapies (IAPT) Programme.
The growing recognition of the importance of psychological
therapy, coupled with concerns about access to services, led to the
Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) requesting the
Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Centre for Quality Improvement
(CCQI) to conduct a National Audit of Psychological Therapies. The
remit of NAPT was to provide the first comprehensive measurement of
NHS-funded services providing psychological therapies for people
with anxiety and depression in England and Wales. The baseline
audit showed that while performance was good overall for most
standards, there was considerable variation in performance between
services for some standards.
Following the success of the baseline audit therefore,
HQIP agreed to fund the National Audit of Psychological
Therapies for a re-audit. It is hoped that this will show
improvements in performance against the audit standards where this
The second round of NAPT
Data collection for the second round of the audit took
place between 1 July 2012 to 31 January
2013. The National Report was launched at the
New Savoy Partnership: Psychological Therapies in the
NHS conference on 28 and 29 November 2013.
We have also sent out organisational and service level reports
to the relevant services.
A number of regional dissemination and action planning
events have also been taking place since December 2013 in
various parts of England and Wales.
The baseline audit
Data collection took place between June 2010 and February
2011, and involved 357 psychological therapy services in England
and Wales. This included both primary and secondary care, small and
large services, and IAPT and non-IAPT services.
The data were then analysed, and the findings published in
November 2011. The National Report was launched at the New
Savoy: Psychological Therapies in the NHS Conference on 24
For the key findings of the audit, please see the reports in the
‘Baseline Audit Reports’ section at the right of this page.
Services which participated in the audit also received
individual service reports and action planning toolkits. Services
were encouraged to return completed action plans to the NAPT team.
A number of dissemination and action planning events also took
place in 2011 - 12 in various regions of England and Wales.