children counsellingMore than 80,000 people in England are still waiting for longer than 28 days to access talking therapies, according to the latest statistics from the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

The April-June 2013 report on the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme revealed that a large amount of people still do not receive treatment within the government's recommended timescale.

Other key findings included:
• 241,250 new service requests, compared with 219,950 in the previous quarter
• 158,620 service requests “entered treatment” by receiving their first treatment appointment in the quarter, an increase of 21,880 from the last period
• 43% (30,360) of service requests with completed treatment, which were at “caseness” at the start of their treatment, moved to recovery.

Amy Whitelock, policy and campaigns manager at mental health charity Mind, said: "The Government has committed to ‘parity of esteem’ between physical and mental health and yet people with mental health problems are still not receiving the timely treatment they need. We are calling on the Government to urgently establish access standards in IAPT so that people will be referred to these important services within 28 days."

For the first time, the figures include data on waiting times among individuals from Black and minority ethnic communities.

Whitelock continued: "We know from research that people from Black and minority ethnic groups are less likely to be referred to talking therapies and this data shows that people from mixed heritage, Bangladeshi and Chinese communities have the fewest referrals.

"Commissioners must ensure high quality talking therapies are made available to all people with mental health problems, regardless of their ethnic group or where they live."