Open Road has been brought in for a three-month project to analyse how the reforms impact mental health policy, and to help UKCP use new opportunities to improve the provision of, and access to, psychotherapy for patients in England.
Graham McMillan, chief executive of Open Road, is leading the account, reporting to Tim Swain, public affairs manager at UKCP. The agency has been tasked with providing public affairs, media relations, social and digital comms support for the body.
UKCP is an umbrella body for 75 training and accrediting organisations and represents more than 7,500 individual practitioners.
The agency claimed that the reforms, such as the introduction of Clinical Commissioning Groups and the move to Any Qualified Providers, which means that private and voluntary sector providers are able to win NHS contracts, have radically altered the way mental health services are commissioned and delivered within the NHS.
The agency added this presented the opportunity for a broader range of psychotherapies to be made available to patients with mental health conditions.
Swain said: ‘Psychotherapy has a major contribution to make to improving mental health and wellbeing, and UKCP represents the most highly trained psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors in the country.
‘To best take advantage of this new NHS landscape, we are investing more in our external affairs work and the project being undertaken by Open Road will play an important part in informing our thinking.’