Dissemination Centre Show menu

What could help improve services for people with OCD?

Date: 26 July 2017

Category: OCD

Six people give their views on what could improve services for people living with OCD. They are from varied backgrounds and give different perspectives: as patients, from charities and from different levels working in mental health services.

Improved access for hard to reach groups

“We’ve had success with outreach, such as welcome groups and drop-in services, to engage patients who otherwise would not engage with services. Drop-in is an opportunity for people to ask questions and receive background information, to help them engage with services and make their assessment or referral more successful.” Amreen Ashgar, Senior Cognitive Behavioural Therapist / Daily Supervisor Talking Therapies - Community Mental Health Team Link Slough

Continuity of care

“There should be support for individuals at each step of the way. There is a wait between referral and assessment, and then (an often longer wait) between assessment and treatment. It would be helpful to have someone to contact for support during that wait – which can seem very long when unwell (two days – two weeks to assessment, six to twelve weeks to starting treatment).” Dickon Allen, person living with OCD

“Many people need proper, long-term care coordination from a link worker who has a holistic view and looks at day-to-day issues. In theory, anyone in contact with the community mental health team should have care coordination, but some people are deemed not sufficiently ill to warrant one.” Lynne Drummond, Consultant Psychiatrist and Head of South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust's Specialist Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD) and Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) Services

Putting patients at the centre of services

“I think services need to be more patient centred. Therapists tend to work in a patient centred way, but the constraints of resources and meeting targets can limit the way they work and the number of sessions that they see people for… it can almost feel like ‘one size fits all’.” Christine Molloy, Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner, University of Manchester

Improving general awareness of OCD among mental health professionals

“Too many mental health professionals out there don’t understand OCD. For example, I am still hearing stories of people who have been told they don’t have OCD because they don’t wash their hands or check things. They must understand the condition better. They need more training. Understanding about the CBT approach is important. Too many therapists try to force the exposure exercises. Therapists need to work harder to help understand patients.” Ashley Fulwood, Chief Executive Officer, OCD UK

“There is a general lack of awareness of OCD in the mental health care system. For example, people may have received inadequate medical treatment. Or they haven’t received the recommended Exposure Response Prevention treatment, in the correct dose and intensity, which is essential for OCD. Sometimes they receive other therapies, e.g. mindfulness (not recommended in NICE guidance).”

Lynne Drummond, Consultant Psychiatrist and Head of South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust's Specialist Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD) and Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) Services

Support is needed for self-help

“People struggle on their own with self-help. Very few people can follow a self-help programme without support, due to doubts about what they are doing.” Lynne Drummond, Consultant Psychiatrist and Head of South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust's Specialist Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD) and Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) Services

“When people have support, they are more likely to complete and benefit from the online self-help programme.” Christine Molloy, Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner who worked on the OCTET trial

Specialist training for IAPT services

“NHS Digital’s data show that OCD recovery rates vary widely between different areas. Anecdotally, investment in training in one area has paid off – someone was employed for a year to give training for therapists (secondary care + IAPT). The improvement was reflected in good recovery stats and good feedback from recovery support groups – therapists doing the right things, making recoveries. In an adjacent area without extra training, people are not having the same experience – they are being pushed into exposure too early.” Ashley Fulwood, Chief Executive Officer, OCD UK

Family support

“The typical person with severe OCD is in their forties and living at home with elderly parents caring for them… Support for families is currently non-existent – the specialist service sometimes has to ask for carers’ assessments on their behalf.” Lynne Drummond, Consultant Psychiatrist and Head of South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust's Specialist Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD) and Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) Services

 

  • Summary:

    Six people give their views on what could improve services for people living with OCD.

Related sites

Your comments

Get in touch

Find us on LinkedIn Find us on YouTube

National Institute for Health Research, Room 132, Richmond House, 79 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2NS

© 2016 NIHR, all rights reserved