A recent poll by Ipsos MORI found that 3 out of 10 people do not have confidence that the NHS will give them high quality treatment. This is a sadly high figure, and one that is increasingly leading people to explore private rather than NHS therapy.
Within Mental Health, getting good therapy involves a number of factors all working well – the main one that you, the client, are at the centre of your care. Here are some areas to consider when deciding whether to access private therapy or NHS therapy:
How To Choose The Best NHS or Private Clinic:
1) The best clinics, whether NHS or private should provide access to appropriate therapeutic approaches when needed, not just an assessment appointment followed by long waiting lists or single sessions of ‘treatment’, (such as stress control classes). These are can be used by some organisations to make their waiting time statistics look better, but may not provide the best help to you.
2) They should offer a range of appointment times to match your schedule as closely as possible. Many people are finding that therapy in the NHS, and some private clinics, is increasingly being offered on the basis of ‘take what you’re given, or nothing’. Whilst it is true that therapy requires a time investment, we believe it should help enhance your life, not interfere with it unhelpfully.
4) The best Therapy clinics will make a choice of Therapists available. It is important to have the opportunity to work with a Therapist that you’re able to be honest and open with. Due to time and money pressures many overstretched NHS mental health services cannot offer this and may simply allocate you the next available member of staff.
5) Get the optimum number of sessions that you need. Sadly clinical guidelines are increasingly being blurred by therapy services as they try to combat long waiting lists. We are aware of some clinics and services that limit clients to a maximum of 6 sessions, which is often below the clinical guidance for many problems that people experience and is therefore unlikely to produce thorough and lasting results.
Whilst choosing the best therapy and trying to decide between NHS Therapy or Private Therapy can be challenging, asking a clinic questions around the areas above should help you make the best decision and understand if the clinic is the best fit for your needs. If you would like to find out more about how our clinics can help – please feel free to contact us.