A study conducted in the UK by ieso Digital Health, in partnership with Dorset HealthCare University NHS Trust and York Health Economics Consortium has analysed real yet anonymised patient data.
By using health-economic modelling that utilised real-world mental health systems data, the report compared the cost-effectiveness of different interventions, to show the principal drivers of healthcare costs in relation to waiting and treatment times, and treatment effectiveness. The study also aimed to identify the economic and health impacts of different types of mental health care on the NHS.
It has found that shortening treatment and waiting times for mental health conditions from 12 months to three months could reduce the financial burden on the NHS and improve treatment outcomes for millions of people across the UK.
This could also mean a future annual saving of around £600 million on average by helping the estimated nearly 7.1 million people currently in need, but who are not accessing NHS Talking Therapies.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Ana Catarino, Director of Clinical Science at ieso. “The prevalence of mental health conditions is increasing due to the cost of living crisis and the fallout from the pandemic, with one in six UK adults believed to have depression or anxiety, that’s nine million adults, so the savings could actually be in the hundreds of millions.”
She added: “The findings from this study go beyond treatment type or modality, there is no one-size-fits-all approach in mental health, and what works for some people may not work for others. What our study shows is that to alleviate human suffering and reduce economic impact on society, timely access to effective mental healthcare interventions is key.”