Psychological Therapies for Severe Mental Health Problems. Training Delivery Evaluation

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Background: Psychological therapies for people with severe mental health problems are a key part of an integrated offer for adults, as set out in the NHS Long Term Plan. Severe Mental Health problems include psychosis, bipolar disorder, personality disorder and eating disorders. Upskilling the workforce is central to improving access to psychological therapies.
Introduction: In Autumn 2021, Health Education England established a commissioned evaluation of the national provision of training for psychological therapies for severe mental health problems, known as the PTSMHP National Curriculum Delivery. A research team from Coventry University were commissioned to undertake this work.
Aim and objective of evaluation: To evaluate the current national PTSMHP training provision in relation to five parameters: Reach, Reaction, Learning, Behaviour, Results.
Design and methods: A mixed method evaluation, applying the Kirkpatrick framework and appreciative enquiry. Data collection took place between January-May 2022 and involved three stages. Stage 1 involved desk review of course provision. Stage 2 saw the distribution of an online questionnaire survey to trainees on commissioned courses. Stage 3 involved interviews and focus groups with HEE regional managers, education provider course teams, NHS Clinical leads and trainees.
Results: The desk review was undertaken with education providers in relation to 22 courses and 9 types of course. Questionnaire responses were received from 144 trainees whilst interviews and focus groups involved 69 respondents.
Reach – HEE offered out 1575 training places between 2021-22 (see page 68 for breakdown). All courses planned within the PTSMHP offer between 2020-22 were delivered. Thirteen education providers deliver the training and course teams report that training capacity has been reached within some of these organisations.
Reaction - Responses to the training offer have been highly positive, with training described as high quality, engaging and relevant. Online delivery has been well received.
Learning - Trainees identified specific examples of their learning and application to their roles with clients and service provision. Factors facilitating the ability to learn include workplace support, study time and supervision.
Behaviour - Trainees explained how they had improved their practice with clients, and some had used their new skills and knowledge to establish new service provision. Training generated increased job satisfaction, motivation for work, and personal confidence.
Results - The evaluation suggests the training provision is making a significant contribution to capability and capacity, including increasing the pool of supervisors to support further trainees. The evaluation did not assess changes in service user choice.

Conclusions Trainees and NHS clinical leaders indicated extremely high satisfaction with all training provided within the PTSMHP course offer. Courses appear to have lasting effects, informing trainees’ daily practices with clients, building confidence and competence, and inducing job satisfaction and improved motivation towards work. The PTSMHP training programme if developed and strengthened further will continue to comprise an important catalyst for service improvement.
Original languageEnglish
Commissioning bodyNHS England
Number of pages84
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-84600-1123
Publication statusUnpublished - 16 Jan 2023


  • psychological skills


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