Information for Referrers
It is hoped that this guide will provide you with the essential information that is required to understand the stages in making a referral to the clinic and then applying for assessment and treatment funding.
Our experience is that the process of applying for funding can take some time and it would be useful if the referrer can ensure the service user/carer is aware of this. We’ve also learned that it is important that patients are aware that even though an assessment might be funded, this does not guarantee that the funding authority will fund the clinic’s treatment recommendations, although we are pleased to say that funding for treatment is provided in the majority of cases.
1. Clinical responsibility during referral, assessment and treatment
It should be noted that the clinic does not provide emergency/crisis support. Throughout the duration of the patient’s contact with the clinic the referrer would remain the care co-ordinator. The clinic therapists will not assume any care co-ordinating role, other than liaising with members of the patient’s care team as clinically relevant. We ask that the patient is not discharged from services (where applicable) during their period of contact with the clinic unless this has been agreed in consultation with the clinic.
The care coordinator is responsible for coordinating and arranging risk management and crisis plans with the patient as appropriate. Clinic therapists will work according to these arrangements and will contribute as relevant.
2. What sort of problems can the Centre help with?
Please click on to each problem for further information about the type of treatment we provide:
Anxiety problems, including
• Panic disorder – with and without agoraphobia
• Health Anxiety
• Social Anxiety Disorder
• Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Complex Trauma
• Information about treatment for children and young people.
We will consider looking at other problems on a case to case basis.
The Centre will concentrate on treating anxiety-related problems including obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), hoarding disorder, emetophobia (fear of being sick and the consequences of being sick), panic disorder, heath anxiety, phobias and social anxiety. We will also see people with problems related to trauma and PTSD. Also, the problems listed above during the perinatal period. These categories are broad and quite often we will work with people with multiple and difficult to define problems.
Patients we see have usually accessed local services previously but for whatever reason the treatments they have been offered have not helped, or not in a lasting way. We offer people psychological therapies recommended by the NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) guidelines for their main presenting problem. We also offer advanced treatments including intensive and “outreach” (e.g home based) treatment consistent with NICE guidelines.
We accept referrals made by any NHS health professional for any person within the United Kingdom who is experiencing an anxiety problem. There are no age or location restrictions, nor do we have any requirements for people to have tried any particular course of psychological or medical intervention previously. Often the people we see have tried many things before but we don’t make this a condition for being accepted for treatment in the clinic.
It is important to remember, however, that funding authorities are likely to consider these factors when deciding whether to fund referrals or not. Each funding authority has their own local criteria for funding treatment and usually require that people have accessed local mental health services in the first instance.
We are keen to conduct assessment and treatment sessions in the place that will help people most, providing the maximum benefit. People often tell us that they have previously received treatment in a traditional therapy room context, and although often finding this very helpful, it has been a real struggle to implement this useful work in the environment where they experience the problem most severely. It is precisely these environments and contexts where we aim to be present and support people in putting the ideas from therapy into practice. Often, this means that what we are able to offer is intensive sessions in the most relevant treatment context.
3. Pre- assessment stage
The first stage in receiving services from the clinic requires a patient and a health professional to discuss making a referral to the clinic.
A referral letter written by a health professional who is knowledgeable about the patient and the psychological problems they are experiencing should be sent to:
The referral should describe the presenting problem and provide relevant background information, including the psychological and pharmacological treatment that has been received for the presenting and other psychological problems, physical health history as relevant and risk history.
We have a Referral Information Form, available to download, on our website which we would like referrers to complete in addition to a letter.
Following receipt of the referral, the referrer will be advised regarding the suitability of the referral for the clinic, the level of funding that should be sought from the local funding authority and be provided with a ‘Funding Agreement Form’ (FAF) that we need the funding authority to complete.
The referrer would then need to make an application to their local funding authority for funding for an assessment.
Before an assessment can be arranged with the patient we must receive the above FAF completed by the funder (e.g. the CGG, NOT the referrer) as confirmation of the level of funding that has been agreed. It is the referrer’s responsibility to ensure that we receive this and it should be sent to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note, funding for patient travel for an assessment held at the clinic should be discussed by the referrer and the patient and form part of the funding application. The funder will be made aware of any requirements for additional funding for therapist travel expenses in addition to that already incorporated within the assessment tariff.
4. Assessment stage
Currently assessment appointments are no later than eight weeks of receiving written confirmation of assessment funding approval. However, assessment waiting times will vary according to the number of funded assessment referrals we receive. Assessments are typically 2-3 hours in duration.
5. Post assessment stage
On completion of the assessment, a report will usually be written within three weeks. The report will then be sent to the referrer (patient copied in). The assessment will provide details regarding the development and maintenance of the problem, including recommendations to address these difficulties. The report will include an estimate of the number of sessions that are considered to be required and the cost of these. A preliminary plan for how this treatment will be delivered and reviewed will also be provided. A new ‘funding agreement form’ will be included as part of this communication.
It is then the referrer’s responsibility to seek funding for treatment from the funding authority and to liaise with the patient regarding the progress of this funding application accordingly.
As above, before treatment can commence we must receive a FAF completed by the funder (not the referrer) as confirmation of the level of funding that they have agreed to for treatment. It is the referrer’s responsibility to ensure that we receive this and it should be sent to the following address: email@example.com
As above, please note that funding for patient travel to treatment sessions held at the clinic should be discussed by the referrer and the patient and form part of the funding application. The funder will be made aware of any requirements for additional funding for therapist travel expenses in addition to that already incorporated within the treatment tariff.
Currently treatment appointments are within eight weeks of receiving written confirmation of treatment funding. However, treatment waiting times will vary according to the number of funded referrals we receive. Depending upon the treatment plan, sessions are delivered singly and/or in multiples (i.e. intensively) and can be based at the clinic premises and/or the patient’s home/local environment.
As a specialist psychological treatment service, we can discuss medication options with local services but this is not our primary role. We do, however, invite patients and referrers to have a look at the Oxford Health Foundation Trust medication website which provides a useful overview of options regarding medication www.choiceandmedication.org/oxfordhealth
Treatment will be regularly reviewed with the patient and progress reports can be provided upon request. When it is considered that additional funded sessions may be required this will be discussed with the patient and the referrer. If agreed the referrer would then need to seek this further funding for treatment.
7. Post treatment
On completion of treatment, a summary report will be provided to the patient and referrer. Treatment follow-ups and booster sessions will be provided if funding has been agreed for this.
8. Contact details for general enquiries
The below contact details are for the administrator at the centre, whom you can contact for general information:
Telephone: 01865 226361
Footnote: we would very much appreciate feedback on the information provided here. If you wanted to comment, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org