New report published on psychological therapies in secondary care adult mental health services

Online news
09 January 2020

Today, the College has published a report on the findings from its Psychological Therapies Spotlight Audit 2019, part of The National Clinical Audit of Anxiety and Depression (NCAAD). 

This report presents the findings of an audit focusing on the delivery of psychological therapies in secondary care adult mental health services. It found that:

  • most adults who received psychological therapy rated their therapists highly and felt helped by the treatment they received
  • however, access was poor with almost half of adults waiting over 18 weeks from referral to the start of treatment
  • many service users also reported a lack of choice in key aspects of their therapy
  • outcome measures were not routinely used to assess change.

Read the full report

More about the audit

The audit was carried out by the Royal College of Psychiatrists in partnership with the British Psychological Society between 2018 and 2019. The report was co-produced with our Service User and Carer Reference Group, clinical advisors, the NCAAD team and the McPin Foundation, an independent mental health research charity. 

The report evaluates the following key performance areas: 

  • access and waiting times
  • appropriateness of therapy
  • service user involvement
  • outcome measurement
  • therapist training and supervision.

50 NHS Trusts participated and registered a total of 232 services. 4462 service users’ case notes, 662 service user surveys and 1453 therapist questionnaires were analysed.

The full report, data tables and online appendices can be found on the NCAAD webpages.  

What is NCAAD?

The National Clinical Audit of Anxiety and Depression (NCAAD) is a three-year improvement programme focussing on NHS-funded secondary care services provided to service users with anxiety and/or depression in England. The audit was informed by the results of the National Audit of Psychological Therapies (2010 to 2014) which looked at psychological therapy services in both primary and secondary care. 


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