Access to psychological therapies in hospital wards "falls far short of acceptable standards", according to a new report.
While most wards provide training in basic psychological therapies, research suggests that less than half (38%) of patients have been offered supportive counselling. Furthermore, figures show less than a third (29%) of patients receive access to talking therapies, and almost a quarter of patients that request such therapy do not actually receive it.
The figures come from a report published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, which outlines ten standards that it says are essential for the treatment of working-age adult inpatients in mental healthcare wards.
One standard calls for access to psychological treatment, stating that psychological therapies are "an integral part of the recovery process”.
It adds that hospital wards should provide patients with access to a range of psychological therapies, and that this treatment should be provided by staff that have the appropriate skills and experience.
This follows NICE's updated guideline on interventions in the treatment and management of schizophrenia in primary and secondary care.
The guideline recommends the use of psychological interventions, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), family interventions and arts therapies for the treatment of people with schizophrenia. It also recommends that healthcare professionals providing psychological treatment should have the appropriate skills and competence to deliver it.
'Psychological therapies' is the general term used to describe meetings with therapists to discuss feelings and thoughts and how these might affect a person's life and wellbeing.
NICE's updated guideline on schizophrenia recommends that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) - a form of psychological therapy - should be offered for all people with schizophrenia. This can be started at an acute phase or at later stages in inpatient settings.
The updated NICE guideline on schizophrenia was published in March 2009, and includes a range of implementation tools designed to help support its use.
This includes a guide to resources, which is aimed at assisting healthcare professionals put the guideline into practice.
Among the resources listed, are journals on arts therapies that provide helpful information on the use of arts therapies, as recommended the NICE guideline.
Access to therapeutic services should also be available as the first 'port of call' for children thought to have ADHD before they were given medication.
30 June 2011