National British Sign Language IAPT Tender

National British Sign Language IAPT Tender

1. To provide IAPT compliant therapies in BSL.

National British Sign Language (BSL) IAPT

Contract summary



  • Health services – 85100000
  • Counselling services – 85312320

Location of contract


Value of contract

£3,000,000 to £5,000,000

Procurement reference


Published date

22 April 2021

Closing date

27 May 2021

Closing time


Contract start date

1 August 2021

Contract end date

31 July 2024

Contract type

Service contract

Procedure type

Open procedure (OJEU)

Contract is suitable for SMEs?


Contract is suitable for VCSEs?




The Five-Year Forward View for Mental Health (FYFVMH, Oct 2016) and the Long Term Plan (LTP, 2019)
emphasise the ability of IAPT services to provide support for people with depression and anxiety disorders that can be managed effectively in a uni-professional context. IAPT services remain a key focus of the LTP in delivering the improved outcomes aspired to by linking mental health and physical health. The LTP sets out a commitment to expanding IAPT services with a view to increasing access to psychological therapies for an additional 390,000 people with common mental health problems which means that by 2023/24 1.9 million people nationally each year will access treatment via IAPT services.

As IAPT services expand there has been a need identified to increase access for people who are Deaf and use BSL. Commissioning BSL services at a local level can be difficult due to the relatively small numbers of BSL users in each locality. Therefore, central funding has been identified to pilot a national BSL IAPT offer.

Deaf people are currently believed to be vastly underrepresented in IAPT services. They face a number of barriers including misdiagnosis and availability of appropriate communication aids. There are two main options for Deaf people reliant on BSL for accessing therapy via IAPT: accessing their local service through the use of a trained BSL interpreter or by accessing therapy from a trained IAPT clinician who uses BSL themselves.

Aim of the service
The National BSL IAPT Service is required to meet three overarching criteria:

1. To provide IAPT compliant therapies in BSL
2. To provide national coverage and accessibility
3. To build the BSL-speaking IAPT workforce

To access this opportunity and bid on the Tender please go to:


How to apply


Follow the instructions given in the description or the more information section.


About the buyer


Contact name

Russell Greenwood


Quarry Hill