New national treatment centre for OCD in the West of England to be announced

Professor Paul Salkovskis at the OCD-UK conference

OCD-UK have today learned that a new NHS national treatment centre offering specialist treatment for OCD is due to open in the South West of England early next year.

We have been concerned for some time by the fact that there are very few NHS centres which can offer specialist treatment for OCD beyond the M25 circular, and as an organisation we have been actively supporting efforts to extend the availability of high quality treatment in the NHS outside of the Greater London area. We previously supported efforts to establish an OCD service in Liverpool, although this service was not commissioned.

We are therefore delighted to learn that the University of Bath and Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust are about to open a new Assessment, Treatment, Training and Research Centre which will provide, both a regional and a national clinic offering expert and highly specialist services for a range of psychological problems, particularly OCD and related problems. The provisional name for this new service is the Centre for Specialist Psychological Treatments of Anxiety and Related Problems (CSPTARP) and the Clinical Director will be Professor Paul Salkovskis (pictured), who is a long-standing supporter and patron of OCD-UK. We also understand that the centre will probably be based in South Bristol with a possible satellite centre in Swindon, and will begin accepting NHS referrals early in 2013.

The centre will provide a national clinic, effectively this means any patient in the UK can gain access to the treatment, subject to their local NHS Trust/Health Board agreeing to fund the referral. At this stage, the centre is not expected to be part of the NSCT (formerly NCG) funding centres, however we understand this may be reviewed in the future. At this stage referrals cannot be accepted until the clinic is officially confirmed, but we will announce details of the referral process once they are confirmed in January and OCD-UK will offer advocacy support to any patient wishing to gain a referral from their local trust.

We understand that the centre will offer carefully individualised ‘state of the art’ evidence based treatments on an outpatient basis, and a major feature of the clinic will be its ability to offer also bespoke programmes for those who have not benefited from more usual approaches, requiring either more complex or intensive treatment.

We know for sure that the clinic will offer treatment for people experiencing Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Hoarding, Health Anxiety, Autistic Spectrum Disorders complicated by an Anxiety Disorder. Details are yet to be finalised, but an official announcement from the University of Bath and Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust is expected in the first half of January.  

OCD-UK will endeavour to encourage the NHS and promote the benefits of providing similar specialist services further North in England, in addition to services in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, but we are absolutely delighted that a new treatment service is to be made available for people affected by OCD and other related disorders, and we look forward to supporting the work of Professor Salkovskis and his colleagues.


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