onlineA new model has made it quicker for GPs on the Isle of Wight (IoW) to refer patients with common mental health disorders to online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) within a primary care setting.

The new model, developed with SilverCloud Health, enables GPs at 17 practices on the island to directly provide their patients with access to tailored online CBT programmes at the click of a button. The new model increases access points and reduces the steps to entry for online therapy across the Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group (IW CCG).

Sue Lightfoot, head of commissioning for children, mental health, dementia and learning difficulties at IW CCG, said: "It is estimated that 13,053 Isle of Wight residents experience anxiety or depression each year.

"We recognised the importance of early intervention and the need to improve access to psychological therapies, as well as improving patient choice when it comes to treatment options. We worked with SilverCloud Health to develop a simplified referral process, enabling secure, immediate access to customisable online CBT programmes within primary care. The results from the programme have seen recovery rates above 60% for those who have completed treatment."

Previously patients with mild anxiety and/or depression would access primary mental health services by making an appointment for an assessment with the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies service psychological wellbeing practitioner, who would then route the patient to the appropriate support services. In the new model, trained psychological wellbeing practitioners are still used to offer support and guidance throughout the programme.

Additionally, this further facilitates the need of some patients for anonymity by allowing them to access mental health services through the confidential doctor-patient relationship and in a less stigmatising online environment.

Participating GP practices received guidance on assessing patient suitability for online CBT and materials for patients to explain what it is and how to sign-up.

Ken Cahill, SilverCloud Health’s CEO, added: "We are delighted to see positive interim results of this pilot. It has shown it is possible to provide access to evidence based treatment within a matter of minutes, ensuring that patients receive the support that they need, as soon as they need it. It makes the referral pathway more efficient and enables patients to access treatment more quickly."

To find out more about the model visit