A report, which used health-economic modelling that utilised real-world mental health systems data, has shown that shortening treatment and waiting times for mental health conditions from 12 months to three could reduce the financial burden on the NHS and improve treatment outcomes.

The study, which is one of the largest of its kind to date, analysed anonymised data from 27,540 people with depression and anxiety and was conducted by ieso Digital Health Ltd in partnership with Dorset HealthCare University NHS Trust and York Health Economics Consortium (part of the University of York).

Modelling real-world healthcare data enabled those involved in conducting the study to calculate that there would be a future annual saving of around £600 million on average for people with all levels of anxiety and depression severities if waiting times and treatment for mental health conditions were shortened.

Using the 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.

Andrew Welchman, executive vice president of impact at ieso, said: “Modelling real-world healthcare data in this way, allowed us to show how important it is to provide rapid access to effective mental health treatment.

“Further to this, the study has provided important insights into the key factors influencing health and economic outcomes.

“As this data was used to track individuals through their treatment in a real-world setting, it provided information on number of sessions, waiting times, treatment requirements, and engagement with treatment, which reflected true human behaviour in a clinical practice.”

Moving forward, ieso is focussing on developing scalable digital solutions that combine human care and computer-delivered therapy.

These solutions can be rapidly deployed and extend the reach of individual therapists, helping deliver fast access to highly effective care that will improve the lives of millions of people suffering from poor mental health.

Lots of work is being done across the NHS to help people with mental health conditions. Recently, Devon Partnership NHS Trust introduced Censeo, a digital mental health assessment tool to help local residents with mental health issues.