Secondary Care

An online psychological family therapy service is being trialled throughout Lincolnshire

An online clinician-led psychological family therapy service, which is proven to reduce anxiety levels by 29% and depression levels 35% is being trialled throughout Lincolnshire in collaboration with Healios and Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation NHS Trust (LPFT) thanks to funding and support from the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network (EMAHSN).

People affected by psychosis, as well as their families and carers have traditionally only received family intervention with the worker visiting the family. Now they can get family intervention through their laptop or smart device, from the comfort of their own home, or wherever is most convenient, with the same level of clinical expertise received anywhere else in the NHS. A key benefit to the service is that each family member doesn’t physically have to be in the same location, which can often be difficult to organise with work and education commitments. Theoretically, four family members could be in completely different countries and be able to access this service at the same time.

Family intervention is a form of psychological therapy based on bringing the whole family together to improve treatment outcomes. Well proven with strong clinical evidence, family intervention delivers significant benefits for patients, families and the health service as a whole.

Antony Jackson, Community Mental Health Service Manager, LPFT said: “The access and waiting time standards require someone with first episode psychosis and their family to begin treatment with a care package that meets government clinical guidelines within two weeks of referral.

Being able to offer families an online service is not only helping with swift support for families, but means that we can reduce the burden of travel for families and the service; for many families, especially in rural locations, this is a huge positive. The system also uses technology many young people are familiar and comfortable with.”

Richard Andrews, Founder and Chairman of Healios commented: “We are delighted to partner with LPFT and EMAHSN on this service. Our family intervention makes treatment more accessible and convenient for people with psychosis and their families, while at the same time enables the NHS to respond to the changing needs of their patients.”

Mike Hannay, Managing Director of EMAHSN said: “This is exactly the kind of innovative and proven solution we want to offer more of in the East Midlands and we’re thrilled to be starting the programme in Lincolnshire.”