The new service which could reduce patient GP and hospital visits.

People with life-long physical health conditions are up to three times more likely to experience depression and anxiety but often fail to get treatment.

Now TalkingSpace Plus, an NHS service which already offers talking treatments and well-being activities to help people overcome low mood and anxiety in Oxfordshire, is to offer specialist support to people with chronic health conditions. The service is delivered in partnership by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Oxfordshire Mind and Principal Medical Limited (PML).

A dedicated team of psychological therapists will offer talking treatments, well-being activities and cognitive behavioural therapy  to help improve patients’ mental health which is integrated with their physical healthcare.

It will be available to people diagnosed with cardiac conditions, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and chronic fatigue syndrome.

The new service has been launched following a pilot project by TalkingSpace Plus, which showed specialist mental health treatment for cardiac patients improved patients’ mental and physical health leading to fewer GP and hospital visits.

The new service for patients with long-term conditions will run alongside TalkingSpace Plus’s established service for the general public which already supports people experiencing low mood and anxiety in Oxfordshire.

Leading the integrated IAPT service at TalkingSpace Plus is Dr Heather Salt, Consultant Clinical Psychologist with Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. She is also clinical adviser for integrated IAPT for NHS England.

She said: “People who have long term health conditions do experience anxiety and depression and they can think it’s part of the package of their longer term health condition and that it doesn’t qualify for treatment somehow. That’s not the case at all.

“TalkingSpace Plus has therapy available that you can access over the phone, there are computerised packages and one-to-one and group treatments, and it can make a big difference to a person’s overall health.”

Anyone with any questions or would like to self-refer can call TalkingSpace Plus on 01865 901222 or visit the website