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Issued: 25 March 2020

BABCP statement for independent therapists and private commissioners of evidence based psychological therapies during the COVID-19 disruptions

The BABCP is the lead organisation for the accreditation of Cognitive Behaviour Therapists in the UK and our standards regarding accreditation are recognised as a gold standard for CBT therapists and supervisors within the NHS and private sector.

We recognise that in response to the current considerable disruption of services, the majority of NHS and independently provided psychological therapy will be provided remotely (telephone or video call platform) for the foreseeable future. There is also a clear expectation that supervision will continue by remote means.

Many services have now moved over to a wholly remote based therapy provision. The robust models for this developed for Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners have proven to be a sound foundation for this transition in terms of managing patient confidentiality, information governance and ensuring that the quality of the therapy provided is not compromised as a result of these changes.

Leading organisations in mental health including the BABCP have all issued clear guidance, support and advice on continuing therapy provision during a period of social distancing. In a rapidly changing landscape this provision is likely to continue for some months.

BABCP Brief Guidance on Remote Therapy Provision https://www.babcp.com/Therapists/Remote-Therapy-Provision.aspx

The NHS has also provided clear guidance on how Information Governance can be managed at this time here at  https://www.nhsx.nhs.uk/key-information-and-tools/information-governance-guidance

In the light of this we would like to strongly and unequivocably call on all commissioners of independent psychological therapy to accept that therapy can continue by remote means and that as long as providers continue to abide by the code of standards and ethics of the BABCP that there are no problems anticipated in them doing so. There is no reason for agencies to penalise therapists, financially or otherwise, if they work over the telephone or online at this time.