A HEALTH trust has hit back at claims made by a leading medical society that treatment is being undertaken without training.

Data from the Royal College of Psychiatrists suggested more than two in five therapists treating people with severe depression or anxiety at the Worcestershire Health and Care Trust were delivering treatment they were not trained in.

The figures were part of an audit which examined the care received by people with anxiety or depression who were referred to secondary mental health services, including mental health hospitals or community teams, which deal with severe or complex cases.

A spokesman for Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust said: “Our psychologists are appropriately qualified, trained and supervised to provide a range of treatments to our service users, which includes psychological therapies for individuals who present with anxiety and/or depression, and therefore the headline figures quoted following this audit are misleading.

“All of the clinical psychologists and counselling psychologists in our secondary care psychology service have doctoral level qualifications.

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“All staff are clinically supervised which will also help ensure they are only delivering treatments they are qualified in and we are also part of national and regional initiatives to develop the training available to psychologists.”

Charlotte Gill, policy and campaigns manager at Mind, said: “We know there are issues with a lack of NHS therapists with the right training to meet demand. Thousands of people access talking therapies through the NHS but it must urgently address its shrinking mental health workforce.”

A spokesman for Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust added: “Recruitment challenges aren’t unique to us, but we have a number of initiatives to retain and recruit skilled, trained and qualified clinical staff, including increasing the numbers of trainees we have in our services.

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