Helen Jones – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department of Health

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Helen Jones on 2016-02-23.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what the average waiting time is from referral to the commencement of a talking therapy course in (a) the North West and (b) Warrington.

Alistair Burt

The information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is shown in the following table. The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) dataset contains information on referrals to IAPT services which provide talking therapies. Information is provided both for Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and for all 33 North West CCGs combined for the year 2014/15.

Table: The number of referrals entering treatment1 in the year, with mean and median waiting times to first treatment (days), for IAPT services in 2014/15. Data shown for NHS Warrington CCG and all North West CCGs combined2.

Total number of referrals entering treatment3

Average (mean) waiting time to first treatment appointment (days)4

Median5 waiting time to first treatment appointment (days)

Organisation name

NHS Warrington CCG




All North West CCGs combined





1In order to enter treatment a referral must have a first treatment appointment (an appointment with a therapy type recorded) in the year.

2CCG is based on GP Practice. Where GP Practice is not recorded, or cannot be assigned to a CCG, the referral is categorised as ‘Unknown’.

3In order to enter treatment a referral must have a first treatment appointment in the year. Referral received date not necessarily in the year.

4The mean was used as the average.

5Means and medians have been rounded to the nearest whole number.

Waiting time is measured by counting the number of days between a referral being received and the first treatment appointment. For 2014/15, the presence of a valid therapy type is used as an indicator of whether treatment was provided in the course of the appointment.

Entering treatment figures are rounded to the nearest 5

Please note: It is generally advised that the median is used as the more reliable measure of average waiting time, as this accounts better for any outliers in the data

Source: Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) Dataset