Two-year waitlist for mental health patients at Tavistock Centre

The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, in Belsize Lane,

The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, in Belsize Lane, - Credit: Google

Some patients with mental health problems are waiting for more than two years to access longer term psychotherapy on the NHS at a Camden health centre.

A woman who suffers from depression, anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), who asked to remain anonymous, was referred to the Tavistock Centre, in Belsize Lane, after 12 weeks of CBT therapy didn't resolve her mental health problems. 

The current waiting list that she is on was from a referral that was made more than two years ago. She was told by those working at the Tavistock that there are still people ahead of her on the list.

Another woman from Kentish Town was referred to the Tavistock before the pandemic in 2019.

She was first diagnosed with "clinical depression with psychotic tendencies" in 2005 and at that time offered CBT on the NHS but found it "didn't last long enough".

"I'm still living with trauma and have taken weeks off work following two mental breakdowns. I was told by work to sort it out so I sought a referral through my doctor.

"Since being referred, I've had so many assessments. A dizzying, depressing amount of assessments," she said.

"Now I just wait my turn. If I had the money I would go private."

Most Read

She said she is better able to function now but is still not sleeping well.

Tim Kent, director of adult services at the Tavistock and Portman, said: "We are acutely aware of how distressing it can be for patients on long waiting lists for mental health care, and wish we could do more to support them.

"The reality is that funding for long-term psychotherapy has been cut drastically in recent years, which means many people with more serious mental health issues have to wait years for the vital support they need to recover from trauma and rebuild their lives. This isn't fair.

"Specialist NHS mental health trusts like ours urgently need more funding for long-term psychotherapy, so that all patients can receive the care they need. We are calling on the government to guarantee this in their upcoming ten year plan for mental health."