Depression recovery is ninth worst, says study

DEPRESSION and anxiety recovery rates for patients being treated under by the local primary care trust (PCT) are in the bottom 10 in the country.

The figures, released by the Department of Health, show there are large variations in recovery rates between regions.

Nationally, around two in five patients return to full health after completing a course of psychological therapy treatment.

However, while the counselling is successful for 42 per cent of people across the country, different PCTs vary widely in the numbers who recover after NHS care.

East Sussex Downs and Weald PCT is the ninth worst in the country with 26.9 per cent of people overcoming depression.

The worst PCT is Blackpool with only a 5.6 per cent recovery rate and the best is found in Sandwell with 66.7 per cent of patients overcoming the illness.

Dr Nick Lake, clinical director of Health in Mind at East Sussex Downs and Weald PCT said, “We offer psychological therapy treatments to around 10,000 people in East Sussex every year, many of whom have very complex psychological needs.

“When analysing these figures, the complexities of the problems people are experiencing when they begin treatment must be taken into account.

“Services that take on more people with complex or long standing psychological difficulties are less likely to have as many fully recovered patients at the end of a period of therapy when compared to those services taking on people with milder forms of depression.

“Figures from Health in Mind show that therapy can be highly effective for many people with more complex difficulties and life changing for some – however not everyone with complex needs will be completely free of all symptoms at the end of treatment and therefore will not count in statistics as being ‘recovered’.

“Whilst we are constantly working to improve our recovery rates, and the overall quality of the clinical service in Health in Mind, it is also right that we are focusing our energy on treating people with longer standing and more complex conditions, not just those with milder psychological needs.”

The figures are for April to June and were compiled for the NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme, which was launched in 2008 and aims to reduce the number of people out of work due to depression and anxiety.

It also revealed that while an estimated 6.1 million people suffer from anxiety and depression in Britain, only two per cent gained access to treatment during the first quarter of 2011.

Anyone wanting more information about the Health in Mind service should call 0300 0030130 or visit