Challenges and Barriers

  • Feedback from local community groups has been that IAPT services don’t necessarily provide what is wanted by parts of the population, for example certain ethnic minority groups. To overcome this challenge, one service, Kensington & Chelsea, engaged with the community leaders, and then formed a collaboration with the community groups to develop offers that both meet the needs of local communities and are IAPT compliant (thereby contributing towards IAPT targets).
  • IAPT staff who speak other languages from ethnic minority groups are beneficial in providing mother tongue services to these groups. However, maintaining a mother tongue service can be challenging, as it is very difficult to recruit to these posts – staff needed to be IAPT compliant, fluent in one of the languages and willing to offer therapy in that language
  • Interpreting: being able to book interpreters for appointments (including video and telephone) can be a challenge. The quality of interpreters can be quite variable, and sometimes the interpreters try and take the therapy conversation in a different direction. Some services have had to raise many incident forms due to the quality of the interpreting provided. One service (Haringey) developed training sessions for interpreters, and also often have to hold pre-appointment conversations with interpreters to manage their expectations. Other services have provided training for IAPT staff on how best to work with interpreters. It can be expensive to get interpreters for some of the rarer languages (high cost to the service for only a few patients).
  • The CBT model and IAPT outcome measures are very Eurocentric, and it would be good if they could be more culturally appropriate so they can be adapted to ethnic minority groups.