Luciana Berger – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department of Health

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Luciana Berger on 2016-02-09.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the oral contribution of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Care Quality of 9 February 2016, on party of esteem in the NHS constitution, Official Report, column 1430, if he will add the right to psychological therapies to the constitution.

Alistair Burt

The NHS Constitution right to drugs and treatments reflects the legal funding requirement that applies to interventions recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) technology appraisal guidance.

NICE has not been asked to undertake a technical appraisal of psychological therapies. If in the future, psychological therapies are recommended by NICE, and are consequently mandated for use in the National Health Service, we will consider consulting on including a right to psychological therapies within the Constitution.

Over the last spending review we invested over £400 million into the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme to ensure access to talking therapies for those who need them and this has contributed to achieving very real improvements in the lives of people with anxiety and depression.