Recommissioning of the new Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service

This survey is now closed, thank you for your feedback. The final service specification will be posted here in due course.

  • Status: Closed
  • Date opened: 16 July 2018
  • Date closed: 27 August 2018
  • The National Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme began in 2008 to provide evidence-based treatments for people with anxiety and depression at a primary care (GP) level. The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health in 2015 committed to further expanding the talking therapy services and improving their access and quality.

    What we're doing

    Since July 2017, we have been working towards recommissioning a single new service to provide psychological therapies across the new Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group area to start in 2019. This will replace each of the current services (in each county).

    We think that, by taking a holistic approach that makes strong connections with other (existing) services, IAPT will be able to show meaningful and sustained recovery and service user outcomes.

    What we’ve done so far

    • We have a strong project group with a wide remit:  including people from Bristol Independent Mental Health Network (BIMHN) with experience of using IAPT services, mental health Commissioners, GPs and local authority Public Health representatives.
    • We produced a document that described our approach and the intended ethos and values of the new service. From December 2017 to this May, we undertook a public consultation on it led by The Care Forum and BIMHN.
    • We have received a large and very generous response to the online survey, consultation meetings and a number of focus groups across the area.

    How your experience, feedback and comments have been used

    • The proposed approach that the new service will take has drawn widespread support with very few exceptions.
    • Through the over 700 responses, people have shared an enormous range of experiences with us as well as their ideas for what could be improved. All the comments have helped to shape and develop this draft service specification.
    • There are of course many different experiences of, and opinions about IAPT. Where your comments and ideas did not agree, we have described these differences, tensions and dilemmas as issues that the provider will need to understand, value and work with, prioritising and finding the best compromises over the term of the contract.

    IAPT Engagement - You Said, We Did report

    You Said, We Did report for IAPT engagement process in May 2018

    • File type:pdf
    • File size:215.6 KB
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    What is the service specification?

    A service specification describes the purpose of the service, who it is for, what it needs to do, the outcomes (positive changes) that it must achieve, what it must measure and so on. This service specification forms part of the contract (which is a legal agreement between the CCG and the eventual provider of the service).

    IAPT services have a detailed set of national measures and outcomes that they are required to meet. In addition to these, we have developed a further set of local outcomes. However, this specification does not prescribe how the service should be delivered because we want to attract bidders (and a successful lead provider) that are imaginative and innovative, and able to bring their relevant experience, value-base and learning to delivering this service.  

    How you can help us now

    • We have a draft service specification to present for consultation. The final version of this document will form the basis of the public tender process over the coming months.
    • The online form will collect all the responses to this consultation. Please also complete the equality questions because we need to know that our consultations are reaching all groups and communities, and, if they are not, we know to do something about it.
    •  If you require the questionnaire in some other format, please email and we'll accomodate your needs. 

    IAPT Draft Service Specification

    Proposed draft specification for IAPT service

    How to get involved

    You can get involved by reading the full draft service specification and completing our online survey by Monday 27 August 2018.

    The survey is now closed, thank you for your feedback.


    Write to us at with the heading 'IAPT Consultation Survey'.

    Focus Groups

    Improving Access to Psychological Therapy: come along and have your say

    • 20 August, 12:30pm - 3pm
    • 22 August, 1pm - 3pm

    Dawn James room, Vassall Centre, Gill Avenue, Bristol , BS16 2QQ

    Please note that these free sessions are intended for individuals rather than organisational representatives.

    Consultation on IAPT Specification

    We recognise that some people would rather express their views in person than through an online survey, so we are working with The Care Forum to hold two group discussions.

    Lunch will be provided beforehand at 12.30pm.

    Out of pocket expenses will be provided for unwaged participants who are not coming as representatives of organisations – please notify The Care Forum in advance


    Write to Communications Team,
    Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG
    South Plaza
    Marlborough Street
    Bristol, BS1 3NX.  

    If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with as at

    IAPT Draft Service Specification

    Proposed draft specification for IAPT service

    IAPT service specification brief summary and overview

    Brief summary and overview for the draft IAPT service specification

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