The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies initiative in the National Health Service has its own web site where you can find information and have your say about various aspects of the programme…
The site is intended:
…to engage public and staff in the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) Programme, to inform them about its objectives and update them on its progress.
So far there’s little that’s of great interest to the public or to therapists. The video talk explaining the background is useful for anyone who does not yet know what it’s all about. Many of the documents are difficult to evaluate unless you know a lot about the context.
Having your say
The site claims that you can have your say, but I could see no comments at all. Perhaps the site is broken. I made a comment of my own to find out what happens. It’s now “Awaiting moderation” and has the comment ID #2508. So another explanation is that all of the 2,507 previous comments were censored.
If it’s working at all, you should be able to comment on a few documents, but you can’t comment on the Minister of State’s speech.
Inviting comments on what’s effectively a government site seems phoney to me. People don’t generally trust government enough to believe that the comment moderation will not turn into censorship, and that the comments (if there ever are any comments) will all be genuine.
If government officials ever want to start building public trust, they first need to show that they understand the problem. Then they need to encourage comment in public spaces — places on the Internet and elsewhere that they don’t control. If they choose to publicise politicians’ statements, they need to encourage comment on those, too.
Let’s hope that the designers of the IAPT programme are not as naive about the public as the designers of the site.