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About the early intervention in psychosis standard

In October 2014, the government released the Achieving Better Access to Mental Health Services by 2020 report. This report shows what action the government is taking to provide better access to care in mental health services within the next year, including the introduction of national waiting time standards for the first time. Among the first set of standard is the new Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) access and waiting time standard:

By April 2016, more than 50 per cent of people experiencing first episode psychosis will begin a NICE-approved package of care within two weeks of referral.

Early intervention is critical to improving people’s immediate and long-term personal and clinical outcomes. The new EIP standard aims to not only reduce the time it takes for people to begin early intervention treatment, but also improve people’s access to EI services.

This new standard is “two-pronged” and both conditions must be met in order to meet the standard:

  1. A maximum wait of two weeks from referral to treatment; and
  2. Treatment delivered in accordance with NICE guidelines for psychosis and schizophrenia.

Many EI teams currently work with people aged 18-35, however this standard applies to all people aged 14-65 who are experiencing first episode psychosis. This means many EI teams are preparing to expand their services to all those aged 18-65. CAMHS services will generally continue to work with those under 18.

Regional preparedness programmes

There are four regional EIP preparedness programmes across England that are working with local providers and CCGS to prepare for the new standard.

The regional teams can be contacted for further information on the new standard and clinical, IT and other preparations taking place. 

North of England – kim.thompsom6@nhs.net

East and Midlands - pbj21@cam.ac.uk; helen.hardy9@nhs.net

London – www.eip.london

South of England – www.time4recovery.com


Health Education England’s national role

Due to the capacity of training providers and the value of procurement, CBT and FI training is being procured nationally to meet EU procurement regulations and provide consistency and quality across all regions.

HEE is procuring training to acquire the competencies required to provide NICE guidance specified Family Interventions (FI) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for psychosis (CBTp).

HEE has been working with the regional preparedness programmes to understand the local workforce needs and provide input into the national procurement.

A national workforce steering group has been set up, chaired by HEE and with representatives from the four regional programmes, to support a consistent and coordinated approach to workforce training needs.



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