MOL focusses on the distress underlying any particular symptom pattern rather than the symptoms themselves

The Waiting Game

It’s been wonderful to return to the UK and to spend time catching up with friends and colleagues. As I’ve travelled to different parts of England and Scotland, a recurring theme has been the problem of long waiting lists for people wanting to access services offering psychological treatments. It has been interesting to learn about the varied approaches that different services have adopted to try and reduce the time people have to wait to access services. Perhaps most amazing of all has been to discover the general and widespread reluctance to establish services so that patients can make appointments at times that suit them. A few years ago I pioneered the “patient-led” approach to treatment delivery which produced a dramatic reduction in waiting times. It is an approach that seems to be supported by policy documents, ethical codes, theoretical principles, and empirical results. Despite this support, the idea of patients arranging their own appointments seems to be a difficult concept for many clinicians and managers to embrace. Not only does the patient-led approach reduce waiting times but it also appears to reveal much about clinicians’ attitudes with regard to themselves, their role, and the capabilities of the patients with whom they work.

Posted 16.07.15

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